Listeria contaminated ricotta cheese recalled in Australia

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 18th October 2012

An American owned ricotta cheese that has been exported to Australia has been recalled due to the death of four people from Listeria poisoning. Forever Cheese Inc has issued a recall on all Marte Ricotta Frescolina and Ricotta Salata Soft Italian cheese due to Listeria contamination which has killed four people and hospitalised nineteen people in the United States.

The world wide recall on Marte Ricotta Frescolina and Ricotta Salata, as well as other incorrectly labeled variations of the Forever Cheese Inc brand, extends to Europe, the US, Australia, Japan, Canada, Egypt and Mexico.

Listeria poisoning can lead to fatal poisonings such as Menangitis and Septicemia. It is feared that more deaths will follow in the weeks to come as Listeria poisoning can take up to two months after ingesting the contaminated product according to the US Centre of Disease Control and Prevention.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a statement to especially warn those most at risk such as pregnant women, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems.

The CDC has warned consumers that labelling has been inconsistent and therefore all ricotta cheese by the Italian exporter has been recalled.

“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,” a spokesperson for the CDC said in a statement.

Cheese retailers have been urged not to sell any Marte brand ricotta cheese distributed by Forever Cheese Inc, regardless of expiration dates.