Family Owned Yakima Business Connected to Listeria Outbreak Spea - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Family Owned Yakima Business Connected to Listeria Outbreak Speaks Out

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YAKIMA, WA. -- A family owned cheese making shop in Yakima has been linked to a recent outbreak of Listeria that killed one man. Now the owners of the shop are speaking out and questioning whether their cheese is really responsible for the outbreak.

The family gave us a report from an agricultural lab. The lab took several samples from cheese at Queseria Bandita.

The report shows that none of those cheese samples tested positive for listeria.

Some background, Listeria is a bacteria that attacks the digestive track. It can be very serious if you become infected.

The family tells me that Listeria was found inside the business but it was isolated to the drain and floor area. They said that none of the bacteria was found on the counters. 

The owners of Queseria Bandita decided to do a voluntary recall of all of their product to ensure that no one else was injured in case it was in fact their cheese that caused the outbreak. 

"She said we did our recall for the love of her customers," Sandra Aguilar said, translating for Bendita Montesdeoca, owner of Queseria Bandita. "For the safety of our health and their health and because she has love for the people, for her clients. And that's why we did a recall."

In 2011, Queseria Bandita did cause an outbreak of Listeria. And this most recent case was the same strain of the bacteria. The owner says the current outbreak has not been 100 percent linked to the business since there have been other positive Listeria tests from companies around Washington.

The family told us regardless of whether they are the root of the Listeria outbreak or not. They are having the entire business sanitized Tuesday before they re-open and they say they plan to uphold the highest standard of cleanliness. 



YAKIMA, WA - State health and agriculture officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on an ongoing outbreak of Listeria infections linked to Latin-style soft cheese produced by Queseria Bendita out of Yakima. Health officials are warning consumers who may have purchased these three Queseria Bendita brand cheeses: Queso Fresco, Panela, and Requeson and still have it in their refrigerators to throw the product away and not eat it. 

The affected products are under a voluntary recall and the firm has stopped producing cheese. 

Grocery stores and distributors are also pulling the products from shelves. 

So far, three cases of Listeria have been identified in King, Pierce and Yakima counties. 

One illness was pregnancy-associated, two people were hospitalized and one death was reported. 

Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. 

The disease affects primarily older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and persons with weakened immune systems. 

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. 

Blood stream infections or meningitis may occur. 

Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn. 

Symptoms often begin three weeks after infection, but it could take anywhere from three to 70 days. 

Anyone who believes they may have become ill with listeriosis should contact their health care provider.