Peterson Company is recalling Frescolina brand ricotta salata imported by Forever Cheese of Long Island City, New York for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The cheese was sold to distributors, retailers, and restaurants in Washington and Oregon between July 17 and September 10, 2012.
The recalled product is Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand, cut into 7 ounce pieces, with manufacturer codes 7022, 7212, 7272, and 7432. There is a total of 390 pounds of the cheese in distribution. The potential for contamination was discovered after an illness was reported in connection with eating the cheese. The CDC recommends that consumers not eat imported Marte brand Frescolina ricotta salata cheese.
The Frescolina brand of ricotta salata is subject to a nationwide recall and is linked to a nationwide outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes. Each and every distributor, retailer, and restaurant has been contacted in an effort to recall any and all remaining product in the marketplace. If you have eaten cheeses from any deli and are suffering the symptoms of listeriosis, which include flu-like symptoms of fever, muscle-aches, stiff neck, and headache, along with upset stomach or diarrhea, see your doctor immediately. Of the fourteen people sickened in the outbreak linked to this cheese, all have been hospitalized and three have died.
Fred Pritzker, food safety attorney, is also questioning the origin of possible cross-contamination of other cheeses and products. The cheese has been repackaged at various facilities. Pritzker said, “The CDC report states that outbreak patients consumed a number of soft cheeses that were likely cross-contaminated by the recalled cheese.” He continued, “the FDA recall notice does not mention the identity of the party doing the cutting, repackaging and labeling, what role that played in the adulteration of the recalled cheese, or whether that process resulted in the cross-contamination of cheese products other than Frescolina brand ricotta salata.”
If you have purchased this cheese, contact your distributor or retailer for a full refund. For questions about the Peterson Company recall, call 253-249-2453 and ask to speak to Scott Williams or Kelly Beale Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PT and mention Recall.