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Food Safety News

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Cheese Maker Put on Import Alert After Listeria Outbreak

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed Italian company Fattorie Chiarappa on import alert after the company’s product was linked to a multistate Listeria outbreak.

All cheese from this company will be barred from entering through ports of entry unless the company can show that it is not contaminated.

To date, 14 people in 11 states have contracted Listeria infections thought to be linked to Ricotta Salata Frescolina cheese distributed by Forever Cheese Inc of Long Island City, New York. Whole Foods and one Washington state distributor have recalled the cheese in response to the investigation into the outbreak.

Whole Foods retail locations in 22 states — from Alabama to Virginia — and Washington, DC received the recalled cheese. See here for a complete list and label photos. The recalled product has a lot number of T9425, but at many Whole Foods locations the product was into wedges, packaged in clear plastic wrap and sold with a Whole Foods Market scale label.

It is likely that consumers would have purchased the product between June 20 and August 9. If any consumers still have the product they should discard it and contact their store for a refund.

Peterson Company in Washington state further distributed the product to restaurants and retailers in Washington and Oregon between July 17 and September 10. In a released posted on FDA, the company said it had distributed about 390 pounds of the cheese.

Listeria can cause a very serious foodborne infection called Listeriosis. Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems can be most at risk for serious infection.

Listeriosis symptoms range from fever to stomach cramping and diarrhea and symptoms can take as long as 70 days to onset form the time of exposure to the bacteria. Anyone concerned about these symptoms should contact their health care provider.

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