Listeria Outbreaks in Imported Ricotta Cheese Deadly

Listeria outbreaks have killed one and 14 have been sickened from consuming the cheese, which was sold in 19 states.

Listeria outbreaks prompt consumers to discard recalled Frescolina-brand ricotta salata cheese. (Photo: Maximilian Stock Ltd./Getty Images)

Sep 12, 2012· 0 MIN READ
Nichol Nelson hails from Minnesota, but has worked in food journalism in New York and Los Angeles for more than a decade. She served as an editor with Gourmet magazine for six years, and has contributed to several other digital and print food publications.

Contaminated ricotta salata cheese that has been traced back to Forever Cheese of Astoria, New York has been linked to three deaths and 14 illnesses. (Only one death has been confirmed; CDC and state officials are investigating the other deaths.)

The company has voluntarily recalled one lot of its Frescolina-brand ricotta salata cheese because of Listeria monocytogenes contamination. CDC and state officials are investigating the other deaths.

The cheese was sold between June 20 and August 9 in 19 states across the country, and was originally labeled with the number "441202."

MORE: 8 Essential Tips for Protecting Against Foodborne Illness

Listeriosis symptoms include muscle aches, gastrointestinal distress, and fever. The illness is particularly dangerous in pregnant women, children, and the elderly.

Here's the list of states where the cheese was sold: California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

To be safe, the CDC recommends anyone who recently purchased Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese should discard it.