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Dairy Products From Rizo-López Foods Inc. Tied To Multi-State Listeria Outbreak

Listeria OutbreakMODESTO, CALIFORNIA (February 14, 2024) – At least two people have died and another 24 were hospitalized after a Listeria outbreak linked to dairy products sold by Rizo-López Foods Inc.

Numerous retailers including Trader Joe’s, Sprouts and Costco have recalled several items including yogurt, sour cream, dressings, sandwich and salad kits.

The recall comes after an investigation identified Rizo-López Foods Inc as the source of the outbreak. There were numerous brands and products involve in the recall as reported by CNN.

Food safety advocates have raised concerns that the scope of the outbreak may be much wider than has currently been reported. It is important that any containers or refrigerators that have come into contact with the contaminated food are thoroughly cleaned.

This is the second recall involving products from Rizo-López Foods Inc. this year. Early in January, the company recalled its aged Cojita cheese after Hawaii officials discovered Listeria within the product.

Don’t Wait: If you’ve been injured by a foodborne illness such as a Listeria outbreak, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at Samer Habbas & Associates are here to help. Call us today for a risk-free consultation at 949-727-9300.

Liability For Listeria Outbreaks

Listeria can be very dangerous and presents a number of health challenges for those afflicted, especially for vulnerable populations. According to the Food and Drug Administration, “Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. […] Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.” There are a number of symptoms commonly associated with Listeria monocytogenes.

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Stiffness
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea

Listeria monocytogenes can also lead to miscarriages and stillbirths, thus making it potentially very harmful for pregnant women. There could be numerous entities that bear some liability for an injury due to a listeria outbreak. Food manufacturers and processors can be liable if their products end up being linked to a listeria outbreak. This could include instances where food processors fail to follow safety protocols. For example, food may have been stored at an unsafe temperature which allowed bacteria and other contaminants to grow.

A retailer such as Costco, Trader Joe’s or Sprouts could also potentially be liable for a foodborne illness. In many circumstances, retailers will become aware of food recalls. They must take action to remove all recalled products. However, a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has revealed that many retailers have continued to sell recalled products. When a retailer fails to take action to remove dangerous products, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. There are several steps that should be taken when anyone becomes ill due to a listeria outbreak.

  • Victims should seek medical attention as early as possible. This is especially important for people who are older or may otherwise be at risk.
  • All containers and surfaces that may have come into contact with the contaminated products should be thoroughly cleaned.
  • The illness should be reported to health authorities. This can help track the outbreak and create an official record of the illness.
  • It is also a good idea to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. They can provide guidance on legal options and help you navigate the complexity of such cases.

An attorney can help ensure that evidence is being properly preserved and that your rights are being protected. At the end of the day, evidence is what will ultimately determine who was at fault. Your attorney may also utilize Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to link your particular illness back to the original outbreak. It doesn’t cost anything upfront to hire an attorney and they work entirely off of a contingency fee basis. They can let you know if you have a viable case that can be pursued.

Getting Legal Help After A Listeria Outbreak

We at Samer Habbas & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in this Listeria outbreak. It is our sincere hope that all of the other victims will be able to make a full recovery. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. This is the second Listeria outbreak involving Rizo-López Foods Inc this year alone.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a Listeria outbreak? You may have legal recourse. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here for you. We are committed to making sure that victims of foodborne illnesses get the medical and financial support that they are entitled to through the legal system. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney we are here to serve your needs. You can reach out to us anytime at 949-727-9300.