Due to possible Staphylococcus aureus contamination, state Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball warned the public to not consume La Clarita Queseria Queso Fresco “Fresh Cheese” made by Queseria La Poblanita.

To date, the Department of Agriculture and Markets have not reported any illnesses associated with this product.

The recalled fresh Spanish-style cheese is sold in 12 oz. plastic tub packages with a label declaring a plant # 36/8585, and a product lot code of MAY 13, 2015. The manufacturer presented on the package is: “Queseria La Poblanita Inc. 216 E. 117th St., New York, NY 10035.” The product was distributed to stores and delis in the metropolitan New York area.

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A routine sample of the cheese, collected by an inspector from the Department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on April 15, 2015, was subsequently tested by the New York State Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with high levels of Staphylococcus aureus. The manufacturer was notified of the positive test result and voluntarily recalled the product.

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that usually causes rapid food poisoning symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, retching, abdominal cramping, and prostration. In more severe cases, headache, muscle cramping and transient changes in blood pressure and pulse may occur. Recovery generally takes two days. All people are susceptible. Death is very rare. However, such cases have occurred among the elderly, infants, and severely debilitated persons.

Consumers who have purchased the La Clarita Queseria Queso Fresco Fresh Cheese should return the product to the place of purchase or discard it.

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