Listeria outbreak in US from Italian imported ricotta salata cheese – Big seizure in Italy and recall

The public prosecutor in Bari has ordered the seizure of all the national territory of the ricotta Frescolina to determine the cause of human listeriosis occurred in the United States that caused three deaths.

The alert system has been triggered in Italy, and probably the alert will because the ricotta sold in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and Romania. Worldwide, the ricotta was also distributed in the United States as well as in Australia, Japan, Canada, Egypt, Mexico.

The listeria outbreak in US started in September. This is the official statement of CDC (Center for Desease Control and Prevention):

“As of September 26, 2012, a total of 18 persons infected with the outbreak-associated strain ofListeria monocytogenes have been reported from 12 states and the District of Columbia.

All 18 ill persons were hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to at least one of these deaths. One fetal loss has been reported. Collaborative investigation efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that imported ricotta salata cheese is the likely source of this outbreak.

On September 14, 2012, Forever Cheese, Inc. issued an expanded recall of all lots of production of Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese and issued a market withdrawal of all cheeses they received that were produced by the Italian cheese exporter.

Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese may also have been referred to as Ricotta Frescolina Marte Tipo Toscanella or Ricotta Salata Soft  (lot number T9425) during distribution.

Labeling of the recalled ricotta salata cheese after it was cut and repackaged has been inconsistent. Be aware that labels of repackaged cheese may not include the words “Marte” or “Frescolina.”Consumers who purchased recalled Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese are advised not to eat it and to discard any remaining cheese. This is especially important for pregnant women, persons with weakened immune systems, and older adults”.

Update: on 10th October has been published also the alert notification on the RASFF System database:

https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/rasff-window/portal/index.cfm?event=notificationDetail&NOTIF_REFERENCE=2012.1395

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