|FDA Announces Recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina Brand for Possible Health Risk|
Baltimore, MD (September 11, 2012) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and local health departments are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health officials in several other states to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections. There have been no deaths, although the three Maryland cases currently identified with this outbreak have been hospitalized.
In response to this ongoing investigation, Forever Cheese has issued a voluntary recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand from one specific production date, Forever Cheese lot # T9425 and/or production code 441202. The FDA announcement about the voluntary recall may be found at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/
Products were sold to wholesale distributors for retailers and restaurants in Maryland between June 20 and August 9, 2012. Further investigation about the specific distribution of this cheese is ongoing.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms within 3 days to 10 weeks (usually within 3 weeks). Sometimes the blood or other body sites become infected. Pregnant women who become infected generally only develop flu-like symptoms (fever, tiredness, achiness). However, the infection can cause premature labor, premature delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth. Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics.
Persons at higher risk for disease include:
If a person has an illness consistent with listeriosis, they should see their healthcare provider.
DHMH is currently advising consumers to:
In addition, while the recalled product is made from pasteurized sheep’s milk, the Department reminds Marylanders who are at higher risk for disease to avoid soft cheeses and products made from raw or unpasteurized milk.
Over the last 5 years, Maryland had an average of 15 listeriosis cases reported each year. Last year, there were 19 confirmed listeriosis cases reported in Maryland. More information on listeriosis can be found at: http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.