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Listeriosis Suspected in Baby’s Death

A 3-day-old Ventura County infant has died from a suspected case of listeriosis, the bacteria-caused disease being blamed for 43 recent deaths in California and other states. Tests to confirm the diagnosis are not expected to be completed before Monday.

Ventura County Medical Examiner-Coroner F. Warren Lovell said Saturday that investigators did not yet know whether the girl’s mother had consumed any tainted Jalisco-brand cheese,. The cheese has been linked to 43 deaths and scores of illnesses, mainly among Latino women and children in the Los Angeles area.

The tiny Ventura County victim, the county’s first listeriosis casualty during the recent outbreak, was Latino. She was born Tuesday and died Friday.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health Services issued a public warning Saturday about another Jalisco-made cheese, Menonita. Stuart Richardson, chief of the department’s food and drug branch, said he believed Jalisco officials inadvertently left Menonita cheese off their list of company products through “terrible” record keeping.

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Health investigators Saturday were still finding Jalisco cheese products on store shelves despite a June 13 recall order.

Richardson said investigators planned to work through the weekend to ensure that all dairy foods made by Jalisco Mexican Products Inc. are removed from store shelves.

“We found a store in Long Beach that still had 200 pounds of it on their shelves,” Richardson said. “They said they were unaware of the problem.”

Long Beach officials identified the store as the Santa Fe Market.

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