Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Jalisco Products, Inc., Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheeses 1985

Between January 1 and August 15, 1985, 142 cases of listeriosis were identified in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California. Ninety three cases (65.5%) occurred in pregnant women or their offspring and 49 (34.5%) in nonpregnant adults. There were 28 deaths-10 neonatal deaths and 18 nonpregnant adults. There were an additional 20 fetal deaths. Of the nonpregnant adults, 98% (48 of 49) had a known predisposing condition. A case control study implicated Mexican-style soft cheese (OR 5.5; 95% CI 1.2 to 24.8) as the vehicle of infection. A second case-control study showed an association with one brand, a cheese manufactured by Jalisco Products, Inc., (OR 8.5, 95% CI 2.4 to 26.2). Four packages of Jalisco cheese, queso fresco and cotija, products grew Listeria monocytogenes, serotype 4b. An investigation of the cheese plant suggested that the cheese was commonly contaminated with unpasteurized milk.

  • Outbreak began:
  • January 1985
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California
  • Organism(s):
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Dairy, Cheese, Unpasteurized, Raw Cheese
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Serotype 4b
  • Location(s):
  • Grocery stores
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Jalisco, Guadalajara, Jimenez, LaVaquita
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 142
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 142
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • Unknown
  • Any Deaths:
  • Yes
  • Number Dead:
  • 28

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