Cheese Company Recalls All Products

We have long been writing about the conditions at Peregrina Cheese and the numerous recalls associated with <"">Listeria contamination with its products. Now, the Peregrina Cheese Corporation of Brooklyn, New York, is recalling all products manufactured in its Brooklyn, NY plant from March 17, 2009 to the present over the products’ potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

Peregrina Cheese prepares and processes a variety of cheeses, sour cream, flan, and gelatin products and distributes them to specialty grocery stores in northeastern Pennsylvania and in the New York City area.

Listeriosis, the illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes, can be serious and can sometimes cause fatal infections in young children, frail or older people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may experience high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria infection in pregnant women can cause miscarriages and stillbirths.

The most current recall is being conducted in accordance with the Consent Decree filed on July 20, 2009, which requires Peregrina Cheese Corporation to recall all products and codes produced in the Brooklyn plant from March 17, 2009 to the present and involves the following products produced since March 17, 2009. The products were distributed to retail stores in New York and Pennsylvania. In every case, all lot codes on the market produced since March 17, 2009 are included:

Peregrina Cheese brand QUESO FRESCO Fresh Cheese, 14 Oz. (397 g) foil-wrapped package, Plant # 36-8431, UPC 8 17424 00024 6.
Chipilo brand MEXICAN CHEESE QUESO FRESCO – Fresh Cheese, NET WT. 15 oz. (425g), Plant #36-8431, UPC 8 17424 00028 4.
Peregrina Cheese brand QUESO HEBRA Queso Oaxaca, NET WT. 15 Oz. (425g), Plant #36-8431, UPC 8 17424 00026 0.
Peregrina Cheese brand QUESO COTIJA MOLIDO, NET WT. 15 OZ. plastic bags, Plant # 36-1388, UPC 8 17424 00027 7.
Peregrina Cheese brand Flan, NET WT 8 oz., Plant # 36-8431, UPC 8 17424 00026 0.
Peregrina Cheese brand GELATIN, NET WT. 10 OZ., Plant # 36-8431, UPC 8 17424 00031 4.
Peregrina Cheese brand CREMA MEXICANA Mexican Cream, Weight 16 Oz., Plant # 55-8991, UPC 8 17424 00030 7.

The FDA is urging consumers who purchased the recalled products not to consume them and to discard them immediately. Peregrina Cheese can be reached at 1-718-456-2391, Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Eastern Daylight Time.

Last month we wrote that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the FDA, filed a complaint seeking injunctive relief against Peregrina Cheese and two of its officers: Javier Peregrina and Isabel Peregrina. The government’s complaint, alleged that Peregrina Cheese has an extensive history of operating under insanitary conditions and producing cheese contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The complaint also alleged that, on numerous occasions since 2004, FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes in finished cheese products and inside Peregrina Cheese’s facility. Routine laboratory testing by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) found Listeria in the company’s products on numerous occasions since 2003. The FDA and NYSDAM inspections also revealed that Peregrina Cheese repeatedly violated the current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements for foods. Investigators found filthy conditions, standing water in food processing equipment, workers inappropriately dressed, and a dead rodent inside the plant.

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