Whole Foods is recalling Ricotta Salata cheese that may be contaminated with Listeria moncytogenes. The cheese has been linked to a Listeria outbreak that has sickened 14 people in 11 states and killed two.
The recalled cheese was cut into wedges, wrapped in clear plastic and sold with a Whole Foods Market label with the PLU number 293427. All wedges with “sell by” dates through Oct. 2 are included in the recall. This cheese has a four-month shelf life. Consumers who have purchased it at any time in recent months should and still have it on hand should not eat it.
All 14 of the case patients in this outbreak required hospitalization. Three people died, but for one of them, listeriosis was not considered a contributing factor. Symptoms of a Listeria infection include fever, headache, muscle aches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. If contracted during pregnancy, Listeria can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature birth and birth defects.
The Whole Foods recall includes 70 stores in 21 states and the District of Columbia. For each state, the number of stores is as follows: Alabama (1 store), Arizona (2 stores), California (2 stores), Colorado(2 stores), Florida (5 stores), Georgia (4 stores), Kansas (1 store), Kentucky (1 store), Maryland (6 stores), North Carolina (7 stores), New Jersey (2 stores), New Mexico (2 stores), New York (2 stores), Ohio (2 stores), Oregon (6 stores), Pennsylvania (5 stores), South Carolina (1 store), Tennessee (3 stores), Utah (1 store), Virginia (6 stores), Washington (6 stores), Washington, D.C. (3 stores).
The states with cases patients who are part of the outbreak are: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1).
Because this cheese was cut and repackaged at some locations, cross-contamination is a concern. Anyone who has eaten this cheese or another imported cheese from Whole Foods and develops Listeria symptoms should see a health care provider.