FDA Announces Recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina Brand for Possible Health Risk

 Baltimore, MD (September 11, 2012) -- The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and local health departments are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and public health officials in several other states to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections.  There have been no deaths, although the three Maryland cases currently identified with this outbreak have been hospitalized. 

 

In response to this ongoing investigation, Forever Cheese has issued a voluntary recall of Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand from one specific production date, Forever Cheese lot # T9425 and/or production code 441202.  The FDA announcement about the voluntary recall may be found at:  http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm318844.htm


Products were sold to wholesale distributors for retailers and restaurants in Maryland between June 20 and August 9, 2012.  Further investigation about the specific distribution of this cheese is ongoing. 


Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. A person with listeriosis usually has fever and muscle aches, often preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms within 3 days to 10 weeks (usually within 3 weeks). Sometimes the blood or other body sites become infected.  Pregnant women who become infected generally only develop flu-like symptoms (fever, tiredness, achiness). However, the infection can cause premature labor, premature delivery, miscarriage, or stillbirth.  Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics.


Persons at higher risk for disease include:

  • Pregnant women

  • Newborns

  • Elderly persons

  • Individuals with a weakened immune system (for example: persons with AIDS, cancer, diabetes, or kidney disease)

If a person has an illness consistent with listeriosis, they should see their healthcare provider.


DHMH is currently advising consumers to:

 

  • Not consume any Forever Cheese Ricotta Salata Frescolina Brand cheese or foods that have been made with this cheese

  • Discard any remaining cheese and those food items made with this cheese 

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect any surfaces that may have come in contact with this cheese prior to further use (example: cutting boards, knives, plates, etc.)

  • If they have purchased recalled product, contact the store where they purchased the cheese for a refund


In addition, while the recalled product is made from pasteurized sheep’s milk, the Department reminds Marylanders who are at higher risk for disease to avoid soft cheeses and products made from raw or unpasteurized milk.

 

Over the last 5 years, Maryland had an average of 15 listeriosis cases reported each year. Last year, there were 19 confirmed listeriosis cases reported in Maryland. More information on listeriosis can be found at: http://ideha.dhmh.maryland.gov/SitePages/Listeriosis.aspx

 

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Public Health Officials Offer Food Safety Tips in Preparation of Potential Power Outages and Flooding Due to Hurricane Florence

(Salisbury, MD) - As Hurricane Florence begins to make way across the Eastern seaboard, health officials of Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties recommend the following food safety tips for residents to help them prepare now, should local power outages or flooding occur.

• Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. For more information on generator safety, visit here.

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Snow Hill, MD- Small changes often lead to major results and Worcester County Health Department’s free Lifestyle Balance program aims to help residents eat healthy, be active and lower their risk for type 2 diabetes with easy-to-follow tips and tools. New classes begin this September at the Atlantic Club in West Ocean City.


• Classes run from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday beginning September 11 and ending on January 15.

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Due to inclement weather, the Just Walk Making Strides event scheduled for today is rescheduled for 5-6 p.m. on October 18 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill. For more information, please call 410-632-0056.  Read more ...
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