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Recall Roundup: Cotija cheese listeria concerns results in multiple product recalls at area stores

The Sentinel - 2/10/2024

Feb. 9—An outbreak of listeria connected with Cotija cheese has resulted in a number of recent food recalls involving a variety of products that use the cheese as an ingredient.

Trader Joe's, Walmart and Costco are among the stores that sold recalled products associated with the larger outbreak notification from Rizo-Lopez Foods regarding its cheese and dairy products.

Fresh Creative Foods is recalling certain crema "everything sauces," cilantro cotija dressing, poblano Caesar dressing and one taco kit that were sold at Costco and Trader Joe's stores in Pennsylvania, and other stores across the country. No consumer complaints have been reported to date.

Consumers who purchased the products should take them back to the store for a refund or discard them. For a full list of products in this recall, check out the FDA's website fda.gov.

Trader Joe's announced its own recall of four products connected with the listeria outbreak. Its recalls include its chicken enchiladas verde, cilantro salad dressing, elote chopped salad kit and southwest salad.

No illnesses have been reported regarding these products, but consumers can discard them or return them to any Trader Joe's for a full refund.

Two salad kits sold at Walmart are also among the recalls connected with Rizo-Lopez ingredients. The FDA reported that the 10.3-ounce Marketside Southwest Chopped Kit and 9.8-ounce Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Kit sold at Walmart in a number of states, including Pennsylvania and New York, are included in the recall.

The Southwest kit has a use-by date between Dec. 27, 2023, and Jan. 14, 2024, and the bacon ranch kit has a use-by date between Feb. 3 and Feb. 19, and they were manufactured by Ready Pac Foods, which has ceased sales and distribution.

Consumers should discard the full salad kits or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

BrightFarms is recalling its Southwest Chipotle salad kit that was sold in 5.85 ounces with best-by dates between Dec. 31, 2023, and Feb. 22, 2024.

The affected cheese product was placed inside the kit, and consumers should dispose of the full salad kit and present a photo of the product, receipt or reference their loyalty card history at their place of purchase for a full refund.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture'sFood Safety and Inspection Service also issued a public health alert for ready-to-eat poultry burrito products that contain Rizo-Lopez Foods dairy products.

The health alert is for Amazon Kitchen's chicken chili verde burrito sold in 10.53-ounce packages and labeled to contain rice, black beans and monterey jack. For production dates, check out the inspection service's website at fsis.usda.gov.

The products were shipped to retail locations nationwide, and consumers are urged to throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.

The inspection service also issued another health alert, unrelated to the cheese outbreak. The inspection service's health alert affects frozen chicken, lentil and caramelized onion pilaf product sold at Trader Joe's.

The 15-ounce package of the pilaf with saffron basmati rice, dark chicken meat, dates and golden raisins were produced between Nov. 1 and Jan. 19. The problem was discovered after multiple consumer complaints of rocks inside the pilaf, with one report of dental injury.

The inspection service said a recall was not requested since the product is no longer available for purchase. However, the product may still be in consumers' freezers, and they should throw the product away or return it to Trader Joe's.

The inspection service also announced that Hormel Foods is recalling about 945 pounds of ready-to-eat spiced deli ham sold and cut at deli counters because there appeared to be undeclared cheese in the product.

The ham was packaged on Nov. 17 and came in 5-pound packages labeled Hormel Spiced Ham with Natural Juices. The items were shipped to retail locations in only Pennsylvania.

The problem was discovered when retail deli employees noticed the cheese in the ham during slicing. There have bee no confirmed adverse reactions to the product.

Consumers who purchased it should throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.

The FDA also announced that Summer Fresh Salads is recalling its Wegmans Harissa Hummus because of undeclared sesame.

The recalled hummus was sold at select Wegmans stores in a number of states, including Pennsylvania, between Jan. 29 and Feb. 2. The product comes in a 10.5-ounce package with an expiration date of March 19 or March 26. No illnesses have been reported.

The company said the issue was due to a labelling error, and consumers can return the hummus to Wegmans for a full refund.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also announced a number of recalls in the last week, including four for either fire or burn hazards.

Husqvarna is recalling its gas-powered grass trimmers because incorrect wiring in the ignition module can cause an electrical spark or arcing, posing a fire hazard if gas is on or near the unit.

The company has received 12 reports of the trimmers catching fire, including two reports of property damage and one report of one consumer suffering burns on a leg and arm while trying to extinguish the fire.

For model numbers and SKUs, check out the commission's website at cpsc.gov. The affected trimmers were sold at Husqvarna dealers, Lowe's, Tractor Supply and other home and garden stores and online at Amazon from October 2021 to November 2023.

Consumers should stop using the trimmers and contact an authorized dealer for a repair. For more information, call the company at 877-257-6921.

Vornado is recalling its Steamfast, Vornado and Sharper Image-branded handheld garment steamers because they can expel hot water from the nozzle while heating or during use, posing serious burn hazards.

The company has received 122 reports of hot water spraying, including 23 reports of burn injuries.

For model numbers for each brand, check out the commission's website. Affected products were sold at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and other stores, as well as online at Amazon, Vornado and Steamfast from July 2009 to January 2024.

Consumers should stop using the steamers and contact the company at 888-240-2768 for a full refund or free replacement, depending on the model.

CableMod is recalling its GPU angled adapters because the male connector can become loose, overheat and melt into the GPU, posing fire and burn hazards.

The company has received 272 reports of the adapters becoming loose, overheating and melting, with at least $74,500 in property damage claims in the United States. No injuries have been reported.

The adapters were sold online at CableMod, Amazon and other websites from February 2023 to December 2023.

Consumers should stop using the adapters and contact the company at 888-203-3605 for instructions on how to safely remove it from the GPU and for a full refund, including cost of shipping, or a $60 store credit.

VPR Brands is recalling its disposable lighters because they do not have a child-resistant mechanism, which could allow young children to ignite the lighters. No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The lighters were sold at small independent stores and online at VPR Brands from September 2022 to November 2023.

Consumers should contact the company at 888-420-8858 for instructions on how to destroy the device and submit proof of destruction to receive a full refund.

Electrolux Group is recalling its Frigidaire side-by-side refrigerators with slim ice buckets because the ice bucket assembly component can break, resulting in plastic pieces entering the bucket.

The company has received 343 reports of plastic pieces breaking off, including two incidents resulting in laceration and ingestion injuries.

For affected model numbers, check out the commission's website. They were sold at Lowe's, Home Depot and other stores and online at Frigidaire from November 2015 to September 2019.

Consumers should stop using the ice maker and contact the company at 888-377-7563 to request a replacement ice bucket assembly component, free of charge.

Email Naomi Creason at ncreason@cumberlink.com or follow her on Twitter @SentinelCreason.

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