Costco, Walmart Face Recalls Amid Listeria Outbreak

A nationwide recall of dairy products linked to a lethal listeria outbreak has been broadened to encompass items sold at major retailers such as Costco and Walmart. The recall includes a variety of food products, including snack wraps, taco kits, and salad kits, sold across the United States. These products contain dairy ingredients produced by Rizo-López Foods, Inc.

Health authorities have found evidence connecting the company’s dairy products to a deadly listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has been under investigation since 2014. The consumption of cheeses, crema, and yogurt produced by Rizo-López Foods has resulted in at least 26 illnesses, two fatalities, and 23 hospitalizations across 11 states, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The states affected by the outbreak include Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. Listeria monocytogenes can cause severe and sometimes fatal infections in children, the elderly, and individuals with weakened immune systems. Symptoms typically appear within two weeks of consuming contaminated food but can manifest as early as the same day or as late as 100 weeks later.

Mild symptoms may include fever, muscle aches, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to the CDC and FDA. The recall was expanded after a sample of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija tested positive for listeria monocytogenes during a sampling conducted by the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Food and Drug Branch in January 2024, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This discovery led Rizo-López Foods to voluntarily recall one batch of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija Mexican Grating Cheese (8oz) on January 11, 2024. New illnesses reported in December 2023 prompted the CDC and FDA to reopen their listeria investigation. In response, Rizo-López Foods issued a voluntary recall of its cheese, yogurt, and sour cream products on February 5, 2024, which has since been expanded.

Recalled dairy products and products made with recalled dairy products are sold under a variety of brand names, including Bright Farms, Campesino, Casa Cardenas, Dole, Don Francisco, Don Pancho, Dos Ranchitos, El Huache, Food City, Fresh & Ready Foods, Fresh Express, H-E-B, La Ordena, Marketside, Maverick Foods, President’s Choice, Ready Pac Bistro, Rio Grande, Rizo Bros, Rojos, San Carlos, Santa Maria, The Perfect Bite Co., Tio Francisco, Trader Joe’s and 365 Whole Foods Market.

These products are sold at retailers such as Costco, Walmart, Save Mart, Lucky, Stater Bros. Markets, Fresh & Ready Foods, and Sprouts Farmers Market. They are also sold as unbranded taco kits and meals at Albertsons, Carrs-Safeway, Costco, Eagle, Lucky, Jack & Olive, Pavilions, Randalls, Safeway, Save Mart, Shaw’s, Sprig & Sprout, Sprouts, Star Market, Stater Bros. Markets, Tom Thumb, and Vons. Consumers are advised not to consume, sell, or serve the recalled products and to dispose of them immediately. Those who suspect they may have symptoms of listeriosis should contact their healthcare provider to report their symptoms and receive treatment.