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Fresh Cheese Products Recalled

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By David Liu, PHD

Friday July 20, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine today posted a statement on the Food Drug Administration web site to alert food consumers that Productos Tita Corp, (Trade Name of Tita Products), located out of Glendale, New York, is voluntarily recalling certain fresh cheese products.

The recall was prompted due to the improper pasteurization of the milk used to make the cheese.  Improperly pasteurized milk may carry pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria and Salmonella.  

The statement reads "the recalled fresh cheese products are all sold in plastic pouches, or rectangular clear plastic tubs and are marketed under the brand name “Tita”. The package labels bear the plant code 36-8440. The products also possess a stamped ink date code beneath the label bar code. The recall applies to all date codes of these products found in the marketplace. The recalled products were sold in the metropolitan New York area. The cheese products involved in this recall are labeled: Quesito Colombiano Colombian Cheese"

A New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ milk inspector detected the problem during a routine inspection on July 17, 2012 when he found a failure to follow proper pasteurization procedures by the Productos Tita Corp. cheese plant, the NY Department of Agriculture said. 

There is no evidence to suggest that the recalled cheese has in fact been contaminated with any pathogenic bacteria like Listeria or Slamonella, but the food manufacturer is voluntarily recalling all products produced on the relevant dates, as a precautionary measure.

No illnesses or injuries have been reported to date to the New York Department of Agriculture in connection with this procedural violation.  Food consumers are advised to exercise caution, that is, not to eat the recalled product, even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Consumers should return the recalled products to the place of purchase or discard them. They can call Productos Tita Corp directly at 718-381-4393 if they have any questions.

Salmonella causes 42,000 cases of sickness and kills about 400 people each year in the U.S.  Yong children, the elderly and immunity-compromised individuals are at high risk of serious infections, according to the U.S. government. 

Listeria sickens about 1,600 people and kills about 260 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pregnant women, newborn babies, people with weakened immunity from transplants, diseases like cancer and AIDS, therapies or medications are at high risk for severe complications or death rom Listeria.

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