An outbreak of illness linked to consumption of tainted ricotta salata cheese has been linked to 3 deaths and 14 hospitalizations in 11 states, according to a release on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.
The outbreak - blamed on the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes - is possibly linked to consumption of Frescolina brand ricotta salata from Forever Cheese lot #T9425 and/or production code 441202. The cheese was sold to distributors for retailers and restaurants in California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington between June 20 and August 9, 2012. The company has issued a voluntary recall.
According to the CDC report, all 14 ill persons were hospitalized. Four of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy; two of these were diagnosed in newborns. Deaths were reported in Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York.
Representatives for Forever Cheese claim that all distributors and retailers are being contacted in an effort to recall any and all remaining product in the marketplace. The company encourages consumers with questions to contact Jeff DiMeo at Forever Cheese from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET (888) 930-8693 and mention Recall. The CDC advises consumers to discard any remaining cheese.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, Listeria is an organism that can cause foodborne illness. Symptoms of infection may include fever, muscle aches, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. Pregnant women and adults with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk and most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill.
See all tainted food information on Eatocracy
Oh. I feel so much better. I cut a bunch of cheeese.
Blame it on bacteria
How did the bacteria form?
How did they allow that to happen?
Stick with cheese made in Wisconsin and you'll be safe. Eat this french and italian stuff at your own risk!
Right on, brotherman! Love those cheese curds. Go Bears.
Ricotta salata is usually sold portioned in wrapped slices, devoid of any brand labeling. I have some in the refrigerator right now. This kind of "recall" is scary because it is ineffective. I could have been contaminating my cutting board, other foods, and who knows what.
everything can be the cause of something going wrong and people dying because ower food is no longer vary safe to buy who can we blame is the people whos job it is to check to see if its safe and if the food poisoning is still going around that means nothing is being done about it, and if we want something to be done about voices must speak up. im a 14 year old girl and even i have the intelligence of a college student that was highly educated and im saying something about it.
'im a 14 year old girl and even i have the intelligence of a college student that was highly educated and im saying something about it.'
You may want to repeat English 101 at the Junior High you are attending! I wouldn't brag about you intelligence when you cannot spell or make proper use of grammar. At least highly educated college students are aware of the spell check button!
"i wouldn't brag about you intelligence" either. Really... if you're going to say something like that make sure you check your own grammer.
before you correct others...learn how to spell grammar
Pfffft, you're being lame. 14-year olds don't use stuff like ' or punctuation. Instead of being so lame, be glad that she a) reads news sites and b) comments on them. If all 14-year-olds would be so informed, our world would be in a much better shape in 30-40 years then it is now.
Kitten: You might very well be very intelligent but that won't shine through unless you improve your writing skills. I recommend that you read a lot and maybe get some tutoring in English; specifically essay writing.
This is sort of a cheesey story.
Take a second and click on the link "Forever Cheese". Then click on "Who We Are". You'll be amazed at what you can LEARN – assuming you prefer not to come across as lazy and illiterate.
shut up you myopic thinking redneck...."this is 'merica" ....and by the way...velvetta has no flavor!
i beg to differ with you. Velveeta makes the very best Mac and Cheese. Yum!
Frenchie foo foo garbage? Mexican slaves? What does that have to do with ricotta cheese?
Speaking of cheese, did you know that our Moon is comprised of 97.3% Italian-style Gorgonzola?
It's a Simple Question, Doctor: Would You Eat the Moon If It Were Made of Ribs?
I know I would! :-)
Your information is not accurate, it is actually made of an extra fine humongous blob of condensed milk...
I thought it was powdered milk.
I did not... know that.
You're doing a bit, right?
Where is the cheese came from? Not Mexico I hope.
Holy Gawdalmighty. That not a comment – that's a felony. Go get your GED, then come back and visit.
So yes – it did come from Mexico then?
What does Mexico have to do with this?
I didn't know China exported Italian cheese.
These are cheeses made in Europe. But if it makes you happy to continue maliging Mexico and to continue the disinformation campaign going, I guess that is your choice
Something tells me that the previous poster doesn't even know if Mexico is in Europe or not.
You missed English 101 didn't you?
FrumUnda Cheese is the way to go.
Interesting bacterium: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycobacterium_smegmatis
Ricotta is Italian.
too many molds and yeasts (fungi) in cheese. i never buy it. i don't trust them, or the people that think its ok to eat them.
so you dont trust 90% of the worlds population?
yes, slowly, slowly I plant the seeds of distrust. today, cheese with fungus and bacteria eaters vs non eaters, tomorrow, CIVIL WAR! Muahahahahahaha!
These cheeses should be refrigerated. The fault could come from the distributor that did not comply with proper storage temps. Did anyone see a piece on refrigerant trucks all over the US and how huge amounts of food are transported at wrong temperatures, therefore putting all people who EAT, at risk.....large well known food chains have a fairly good record on their refrigerated trucks. They can afford the best. Smaller brands that deliver to restaurants and cafeterias are known to slack. Food for thoughts. We should all grow our own if we want to be safe.
they probably can't afford fuel.
Listeria is a psychrotroph- it grows at refrigeration temperatures. They should have done proper micro testing on the sample. Any positive listeria test should result in disposal of the whole lot.
Welcome to Murder Inc., Mr Cheese. Don't be ashamed . . . I've killed people myself.
I've killed more people than you have.
Mine is bigger than yours.
I laugh at your weak attempts.
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
I have more comments awaiting moderation than you have.
I, too, am not without guilt.
And yet the USDA or FDA or whichever, bans the sale of AMERICAN made raw milk. Brainiacs.
Raw milk is raw milk. Be grateful you didn't get tuberculosis of the spine. There's a reason we pasteurize the stuff.
Too funny. Raw milk is excellent. Absolutely nothing to be afraid of, nothing.
it's fine if you're getting it right from the cow. it's not fine to refrigerate, ship to supermarkets, and sell.
Mother Jones did an article recently about the dangers of raw milk and the problems with the studies that claim it's better for kids than pastuerized milk. Mother Jones is hardly a tool of big agriculture.
12% of American raw milk contains the same bacteria (Listeria) that is killing these folks. It also contains many other pathogenic bacteria including P. multocida. Raw milk is a dangerous food. Do real research of scientific sources.
I grew up on raw milk...never got sick once!
So did I, but my grandma used to do the milking from our HEALTHY cows and she followed ALL the hygienic requirements. We drank it fresh. It takes too long to get to the consumer now and there are too many things that can go wrong along the way. There were a lot of deaths before, that's why it' illegal to sell it now.
So what? The rate of serious infection is low, but it isn't non-existent, and the consequences of being one of the infected are potentially very serious. It's easy, however, to reduce that particular risk to exactly zero by not allowing distribution of raw milk.
Well worth doing. The point is, your personal anecdote counts for nothing.
You never got sick growing up? I want your super-powers!
I agree with you completely. Small farmers are penalized while multi-national conglomerates, like the producers of this cheese, can operate as they please. It's criminal.
The cheese in question is made with pasteurized milk.
Why on earth would you trust AMERICAN made raw milk when american cattle are among the worst in the world? We feed cattle other cattle, something banned by nearly every other cattle exporting nation, and then add pink slime for filler. Americans dont consume raw milk products or raw beef because our cattle safety standards are abysmal, it may be safe in other countries but not in america.
If the cows are 100% grass fed and not grain fed, but out on pasture by local farmers instead of huge agri-business then it's fine. Cows are supposed to eat grass, not grain. When they took them off grass – that's when some real big problems came about. That's why everyone should know their farmers and support small, local farms.
Why anyone would want to drink the breast milk of another species is beyond me to begin with. People were not meant to drink any milk except human breast milk and although you used to be able to purchase it, I don't believe it is available for purchase any longer.
I drink pure breast milk all the time. What's your point?
What pregnant woman eats imported and non-pasteurized cheeses?
Listeria is a serious concern that OBGYNs warn you about and non-pasteurized items are towards the top of the no-no list. Listening to your doctors to protect your unborn child is usually a good thing to do.
Hopefully this will be a wake up call to pregnant women who somehow weren't aware of this threat.
My guess it that a pregnant woman would not have known what she was eating, that possibly this was consumed in a restaurant. I had a baby last year, and Riccotta Cheese was not one of the cheeses I was told not to eat. Unless you knew specifically that the cheese was not pasturized, then why wouldn't you eat it?
My OBGYN said I could eat soft cheeses/imported as long as they were pasteurized.
but seriously... I'm not even a female and I know that you have to watch what you eat when preggo. My wife didn't eat ANY cheeses or deli meat or anything else on a long list.
If we went somewhere to eat, she would ASK what was in the food (if we had a question regarding what she was planning on ordering). The slightest hint that it may contain something on the list of no-no's and she picked something else. It's not frickin rocket science.
Problem is people are getting DUMBER and don't even KNOW what they should/shouldn't do/eat/otherwise ingest. And then there are some who DO know but the damn heffers eat EVERYTHING anyway.
Problem is, people are getting more PARANOID, and imagining problems where there are none. Your wife eating such a limited diet will likely result in your child having food and potentially other allergies later in life. In most of the rest of the world, pregnant women practice common sense about what they eat, and even *gasp* drink wine once in a while. American children are some of the most allergy-riddled I've encountered in the world, and this is one of the reasons why.
Lemme guess, this was her first baby? 3 to 5 pregnancies later, with a house full of kids and laundry up to the ceiling, her main concern is having the TIME to eat or shower, and she's doing her best to eat a wholesome well rounded diet. PASTURIZED ricotta in her lasagna is the very least of her worries and not even on her radar. It's people like you who end up saying "we did all the right things....I don't understand how this happened?!" after their loved one kills over from a heart attack. You can do everything "right" and still get sick or die. Moms do their best. Get off your horse.
How nice of CNN to omit some of the crucial information. The editors must think by telling you where the cheese came from people may get a sense of patriotism and stop buying from a foreign source. So to inform the public and correct the misguided editors here a link to an article that spells it out.
An excerpt for that article...
The cheese, imported from Italy by Long Island's Forever Cheese Inc., was distributed to retailers and restaurants in 18 states and Washington, D.C., including California.
I think everyone already knew it came from Italy... I don't think that anyone has issues with Italian products, they don't have a history of bad products, so I wouldn't anticipate any backlash like chinese products
Glenn you are probably correct, but it is annoying that CNN did not put the information in the article. Whatever happened to who, what, where, when and why? CNN is not the only one. It seems you have to guess half of the w(s) in almost any article you read.
The letters I, T, A, L and Y are right on the label of the cheese, first thing you see in the article. That should give you all a clue as to where the cheese was from...
I always try to buy imported cheeses, especially Kerry-gold brand because it doesn't contain BGH, and Kerry-gold is made from the grass-fed cows milk. I will continue to do so.
I visited Italy recently and we toured a farm that made cheese from sheep milk, ricotta. The sanitary conditions were less than good. I saw a fly in the vat of coagulating milk and called attention to the operator and he just flicked it out and that was that.
While in Italy a friend of mine was feeling sick and went to a doctor. After an examination he reached into his pocket and pulled out some pills and told her to take them. Ah Italy. Great country, great people, really really bad sanitary standards.
That article you linked to also says that ricotta salata is coated in red pepper and shaped like a cone, which it really usually isn't.
I want to know who cut the cheese.
I knew it was gonna happen... nice one
Funny Fool – thanx for the chuckle!
Whoever smelt it, dealt it.
Article emphasizes “Imported” yet doesn’t state which country the cheese was imported from. The article also shows pictures of various cheeses, but not Ricotta. Hello………..
"ricotta salata" is front and center.... it's not the same as ricotta
They probably could have done a better job at explaining this, but I think the implication in "imported" is "not pasteurized." Cheese manufactured and sold in the U.S. must be pasteurized, but imported cheese does not. Pasteurization will kill the listeria bacteria. The pregnant women should have known better; it's one of the most emphasized things during pregnancy, because listeria won't likely kill the mother, but will almost certainly kill the fetus...and coming from things like unpasteurized cheese or deli meats is a simple thing that most people wouldn't even think twice about.
According to the CDC's description of this recall, the cheese was imported from Italy and was made from PASTEURIZED sheep's milk. Raw milk cheeses are sold in the US but generally have to be aged a minimum of 60 days.
The milk was pasteurized, sure. But was the cheese? Because I'm pretty sure the cheese is what we're talking about.
actually you have it backwards. so-called fresh cheeses (soft ones not aged hard style cheeses) that are imported must be pasteurized, while domestic producers are allowed to sell unpasteurized fresh cheese. all imported soft cheeses like brie and Camembert are pasteurized while domestic varieties can be raw. ricotta salata probably has to be pasteurized unless its aged for at least 60 days (FDA requirement).
and how many people died from cigarettes and alcohol yesterday.. perspective
Cheese is a food, booze and cigs are not. Perspective.
To some, it is food for them.. LOL
You know the hazards of cigs and booze... you don't expect that from cheese
Aw, I never kill anyone. I just happen to be nearby sometimes. You can't prove a thing.
Lame. Bacteria is what MAKES the cheese. As a vegetarian, I couldn't friggin live without cheese in my diet or I'd go crazy. I'll be sticking to regular cheeses. Ricotta isn't actually a real cheese, but is made from what's left over from making other cheese. It's also sweet. I'm not sure I'd like a sweet cheese anyway, so screw it.
Hey there...Ricotta can be sweet, but it depends on what you add to it...I add garlic and onions and and some nice olive oil and fresh herbs. Stuff shells with it..MMMMM. Try it and I too could NOT LIVE WITHOUT MY CHEESE. Some times I thisnk I keep the dairy business in business
Ricotta Salata is not sweet, fyi – "salata", salted. It´s firm and crumbly, more like Feta, not liquid with curds like the ricotta you´re thinking of.
"ricotta salata" .... it's not the same as ricotta
Actually, ricotta salata is anything BUT sweet. It is actually a bit on the salty side. It can be shaved or grated over salads, pastas and vegetable dishes. Ricotta (literally meaning "recooked") uses the whey, a by-product of cheese-making.
Try melting some swiss on a big fat juicy steak, it's great!
Thin on facts. What's the country of origin? Listeria is from unsanitary conditions so I'd avoid that brand from here on out. Companies are so casual about outbreaks that NEVER should have happened in the first place. People are dead because some one cut corners. The sad joke is no one will be held accountable. Kill one person and you go away for life. Kill three from filthy food and no one touches you. I want to see one of these SOBs in jail!!!!
Listeria happens naturally in cheese, and is not the byproduct of "unsanitary conditions." Pasteurization kills listeria, and this is required in the U.S., but not from other countries. Listeria in unpasteurized cheese and deli meats is considered normal.
Not true. Listeria is a "zero tolerance organism" in all ready-to-eat foods.
" The sad joke is no one will be held accountable." Dream on . . . someone will be suing the manufacturers' butts off.
Ok and from where was this cheese imported from? That is my big question
The correct answer is: who gives a crap?
Imported cheese - regardless of its country of origin - is not normally pasteurized and is more than likely contaminated with listeria. This is normal.
Well, usually, tainted food originates from Mexico or from farms where Mexicans are used as labour because of poor hygiene amongst the workers.. Which rathole country did that cheese originate from?
36-36 33rd St. Suite 307
Long Island City, NY 11106
Did you hear that? U....S....A
The New York office is nothing more than an importer. The cheese in question comes from Italy. It's not the distributor's lack of cleanliness, all they are responsible for is storage and distribution. Is your first name Ben?
Because we know for sure that the bacteria came from italy and not somewhere else in the distribution chain, sure.
Is your last name 'Head' by any chance?
You cheese-eating Americans are all doomed!
It was a lack of pasteurization - not unsanitary conditions - that lead to this. Most imported cheeses - especially soft cheeses - are not pasteurized and DO contain listeria.
Take your Liberal racism somewhere else.
the contaminated cheese was pasteurized.
" Liberal racism" Are you insane?
May be insane, or just demonstrating yet again republican projectionism. (Blame them for what I do.)
At least, the cheese is made from pasteurized milk which makes it more reliable in the eyes of the CDC and FDA. Had if been from raw milk, by now every raw milk producer in any state would be in jail or publicly tarred and feathered. I am shocked, I do declare, that cheese made from pasteurized milk is culprit in deaths and illnesses – according to CDC and FDA websites, raw milk is treated as almost poisonous for consumption while pasteurized milk is seen as the holy grail of health. Reality is that whether raw or processed, milk and dairy products need careful monitoring to ensure that harmful bacteria is not present in the product. Relying for safety on the processing procedure exclusively does not guarantee the absence of pathogens as, unfortunately, those sickened by consuming the Frescolina ricotta have found out.
Bacteria in cheese causing food poisoning? These food distributors need to have better quality control.
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 8,146 other followers