Oregon Health Officials Issue Warning for Soft Cheese Due to Listeria Contamination Concerns

Oregon public health and agriculture officials issued a warning for a type of soft cheese that may be the source of a Listeria infection in an infant. In a press release dated January 17, 2014, public health officials stated that the soft cheese, known as queso fresco, was traced back to a Latino grocery store in Woodburn, Oregon. The cheese was sold in clear, unlabeled plastic bags, and is believed to have been brought into the US illegally.

The infant became ill in late December of 2013. It is believed that the infant was infected with Listeria before birth, after the mother consumed contaminated cheese during her pregnancy.

Initial symptoms of Listeria infection may include fever, muscle aches, fatigue, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If the infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions. Pregnant women may experience only mild flu-like symptoms.

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