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The New York State Agriculture Department warns consumers not to consume certain “Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese,” made by Peregrina Cheese Corp. of Brooklynn, New York, due to a possible Listeria contamination.

To date, the Department has not received any reports of illness associated with the recalled cheese products.

The recalled products in question come in 14 ounce packages, wrapped in foil with a date code of 4461. All packages with this code are affected.

A routine sample of the cheese, taken by the Department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on January 26, 2009, was subsequently tested by the New York State Food Laboratory and found to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On February 3, 2009, the manufacturer was notified and the company voluntarily recalled the product.

Listeria monocytogene is a member of the Listeria family. It is often found in soil, dust, mud, vegetation, silage, and sewage. Unlike other bacteria associated with foodborne illnesses, Listeria can grow in cold, refrigerated environments.

An estmated 1,859 become ill with Listeriosis every year in the United States. On average, 425 people die from the condition.

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