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Oregon Officials Warn of Listeria in Mexican Cheese

EMSL Analytical provides food testing services to identify Listeria and other microbial pathogens to help prevent foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.


Cinnaminson, NJ, February 5th, 2014


Last month, the Oregon Health Authority issued a news release warning residents to be aware of a type of Mexican cheese they believe to be tainted with Listeria.  This all came about after an infant was diagnosed with listeriosis. It is believed that the baby was actually infected before birth, while still in its mother’s womb.  Fortunately, the baby is reported to be recovering from the infection.


According to the news release, “A joint investigation by the Public Health Division and the Oregon Department of Agriculture traced the infection to an unlabeled soft cheese, called queso fresco, manufactured in Mexico and purchased from a Latino grocery store in Woodburn. Officials believe the cheese was brought into the country illegally, because it was unlabeled and was distributed and sold in plastic bags.”


The report goes on to state that Oregon has an average of 14 cases of listeriosis each year and that 60% or reported cases require hospitalization.  10% of reported cases are fatal.  Listeria is commonly found in soil and water. Animals can carry the bacteria without appearing ill and can contaminate foods and food processing facilities.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that about 1,600 people in the U.S. get sick from Listeria each year and that it is the 3rd leading cause of death from food poisoning.


A leading food testing provider that helps farmers, food manufacturers, retailers, regulators and the general public test for Listeria and other food pathogens is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  “Although Listeria may not infect as many people as some other well known food pathogens, the results can be extremely serious and deadly,” said Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Director at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Rapid and highly accurate testing services are available from EMSL to identify Listeria and a wide range of other foodborne pathogens.  These services can help prevent infections through proactive testing or identify the source of an outbreak if one has already occurred.”


EMSL has sponsored a video about Listeria that can be seen at:


To learn more about testing for Listeria and other food testing services, please visit or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .


About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


 Public Health Division
 Oregon Health Authority
 Food pathogens

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