In Ottawa, Canada, the CFIA has announced a health hazard alert on a specific brand of “Queso Panela Latino.” The cheese product is believed to be contaminated by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

The affected “Queso Panela Latino” is sold under the Tifco brand and bears the establishment no. 1874. The Latino cheese product is sold in two sizes, 420-gram packs and 1.38-kilogram packs. The respective UPC code numbers of the batches are 064424057125 and 064424057132, and the respective lot numbers are 10243 and 10343. The affected Latino cheese products have a “Best Before” date of December 9, 2011. The products were distributed in retail food stores in Ontario.

Listeria monocytogenes is a harmful food contaminant that causes Listeriosis. Listeriosis is a kind of food poisoning that can cause miscarriage and stillbirth in pregnant women. In children or the elderly, or those with weak immunities, a Listeria infection can lead to more serious medical emergencies. Common symptoms of this food infection include fever, nausea, stiff neck and severe headache. As of the date of the health hazard alert, no medical emergencies have been reported which are related to the said Latino cheese product.

The manufacturer of the affected cheese product, 3903052 Canada Inc., located in Boisbriand, Québec, has announced a recall of the Queso Panela Latino Cheese. The CFIA is coordinating with the company and is checking on the effectiveness of the product recall.

Consumers who want to have more information about this health hazard alert and product recall can call the CFIA at its hotline, 800-442-2342. The hotline is available from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 in the afternoon, on weekdays only.