Listeria in soft cheeses sold at Megamart stores has killed one person in California and sickened seven others in Maryland since August, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seven people have been hospitalized. A recall has not been issued.
The contaminated soft cheeses including queso fresco were made by Roos Foods of Kenton, Delaware and repackaged by Megamart, which describes itself as a 100 percent Latino supermarket. Megamart has five stores in Maryland located in Silver Spring, Hyattsville, Riverdale, Rockville, Gaithersburg and one in Manassas, Virginia. All of the cases patients in this outbreak are Hispanic.
On February 15, Virginia’s agriculture department announced it had found Listeria monocytogenes, in a sample of Cuajada en Terron (Fresh Cheese Curd) collected from Megamart’s Manassas store at 8328 Shopper’s Square. Ag officials warned consumers not to eat the cheese which was sold in clear, unlabeled plastic bags in the store’s cheese cooler. At that time, no illnesses had been reported in Virginia.