Dairy products sold by Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Food City linked to deadly Listeria outbreak

MODESTO, CA – A major cheese and dairy manufacturer in California, Rizo-López Foods, is initiating a nationwide recall of over 60 products due to a listeria outbreak. The outbreak, which has been linked to the company’s products, has resulted in the deaths of two individuals and caused illness in many others, according to federal health officials.

The outbreak traces back to June 2014, with Rizo-López Foods products identified as a potential source. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that a minimum of 26 individuals across 11 states have fallen ill due to the outbreak. Fatalities occurred in California in 2017 and Texas in 2020. Despite investigations in 2017 and 2021, the CDC was unable to pinpoint a specific brand as the source.

The investigation was reignited in the previous month when Hawaiian officials discovered listeria in a Rizo Brothers Aged Cotija sample. This discovery led to a limited recall on January 11, which has since been broadened.

The recall now encompasses cheese, yogurt, and sour cream products sold under numerous brand names, including Tio Francisco, Don Francisco, Rizo Bros, Rio Grande, Food City, El Huache, La Ordena, San Carlos, Campesino, Santa Maria, Dos Ranchitos, Casa Cardenas, and 365 Whole Foods Market. These products were distributed at over 600 Walmart stores across 12 states and 28 Sam’s Club locations in six states. They were also available at various deli counters in retail stores.

Consumers are being advised to dispose of any recalled products and sanitize any surfaces or containers that have come into contact with these products. Listeria can survive in refrigerated conditions and is capable of spreading. For inquiries, consumers can reach out to the company at (833) 296-2233.

Listeria poses a significant risk to pregnant individuals, newborns, people aged 65 and above, and those with compromised immune systems. Symptoms, which typically appear within two weeks of consuming contaminated food, can range from fever, muscle aches, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea to more severe symptoms such as headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions.