Say (no) cheese!

Del Bueno, a Washington State-based producer of Mexican-style cheese, has had listeria issues ever since it began production three years ago. The company has recently come to an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration to stop making cheese until the listeria problems are cleared up. Of course, that will involve a number of steps, including hiring an independent lab to test its cheese and hiring an independent sanitation expert. Del Bueno estimates the process will cost about $25,000, an amount the company doesn’t have, so the other option might be to shut down the family-run operation all together.

The bacteria can cause death and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. Listeria has been found not only in Del Bueno’s cheese but also on their manufacturing site. The company recalled its queso fresco cheese three times in 2010 alone. That same year it was tied to one reported illness in Washington state. The company has been warned a number of times about its unsanitary environment.