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North Carolinia Dept. of Agriculture
Consumer Services
Food and Drug Protection Div.
Contact: Don Howell,  (919) 733-7366.
May 26, 1999

Ricotta Salata Cheese Recalled Following Detection of Contamination

Recall Expanded June 3 - Click here

Raliegh, NC (SafetyAlerts) - Officials from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Food and Drug Protection Division announced a voluntary recall today of "Pinna Ricotta Salata Cheese made with 100 % sheep's milk."

The soft cheese product, imported from Italy and distributed by Anco Foods of Fairfield, N.J., contains Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in small children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems. In healthy adults, the bacteria may cause a short-lived, flu-like illness.

Consumers are advised not to consume the product labeled "Pinna Ricotta Salata Cheese made with 100% sheep's milk," bearing the code "Sell by Sep 18, 99."

"North Carolina residents need to be aware of the potential health risks of the bacteria found in this product," said Agriculture Commissioner Jim Graham. "This bacteria can be especially dangerous to people with weak immune systems, and everyone who has purchased this product should take the recall seriously."

The Food and Drug Protection Division detected the contamination in a routine sample collected at a grocery store in Raleigh. Store officials have initiated a voluntary recall of the affected product. NCDA&CS officials are currently working with the distributor to identify all retail locations distributing the cheese in North Carolina.

Other regions of possible distribution include, but are not limited to, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. NCDA&CS officials are continuing their investigation to assure that all contaminated products are removed from the market.

"No complaints or reports of illness have been reported," said Bob Gordon, director of the Food and Drug Protection Division. "However, we urge anyone who has purchased this product to discard it or return it to the place of purchase."


Contact: Don Howell, administrator, Food and Drug Protection Division, N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, at (919) 733-7366.


The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.