May 4, 2001Health Officials Warn Consumers
Not To Consume Fresh Italian-Style Cheeses Made by Liuzzi Cheese Co.
CT (SafetyAlerts) - The Connecticut
Departments of Public Health (DPH) and Agriculture have issued advisory regarding cheeses
produced by Liuzzi Cheese Company in North Haven, Connecticut. Epidemiologic investigation
has linked at least 12 of 15 cases of a particular strain of Salmonella bacteria to
consumption of any of 3 different types of cheese produced by the store since
approximately 20 Mar 2001: basket cheese, ricotta cheese,and mozzarella cheese. All were
made with unpasteurized milk.
These cheeses have been widely distributed in Connecticut and neighboring states and were
sold with a Liuzzi label in food stores and delicatessens.
Salmonella bacteria usually cause
self-limited diarrhea. However, some people can get high fevers and become dehydrated. The
illness can then become life-threatening if not treated, particularly in persons in
high-risk groups such as infants, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Of the 15
cases reported to date, 7 have been hospitalized for treatment.
The Connecticut Departments of Public Health and Agriculture recommend the following:
Consumers who bought any of these
fresh cheese products with the Liuzzi label since at least 20 Mar 2001 or later are
advised NOT to eat it. Rather, they should call the Department of Public Health
(860-509-7994) to report that they still have some of the cheese left.
Persons who have already consumed
the potentially contaminated cheese made with raw milk and who do not have any symptoms do
not need any special medical evaluation or treatment, even if they are in high risk
Persons who have consumed the
cheese and who become ill within 7 days with fever and/or diarrhea should inform their
physicians about this exposure and ask to be cultured for Salmonella and call the state
Department of Public Health (860-509-7994).
The producer and the Department of
Consumer Protection are working with distributors to remove all unsold implicated cheese
from store shelves. Additionally, the producer has ceased production of cheese until
further investigation has been completed.
Although it is unknown exactly how
the cheese may have become contaminated, it was made with unpasteurized milk, which may be
contaminated with bacteria carried by cows. Unless it is pasteurized, milk may contain
Salmonella and other pathogenic organisms. Federal regulations require that fresh cheese
be made with pasteurized milk or that the processing include a formal pasteurization step.
Persons who have questions about the
distribution of basket, ricotta, or mozzarella cheese from the Liuzzi Cheese Company
should call the Department of Agriculture at (860)713-2508, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM
to 4:30 PM.
Notice of this product warning was
sent via email to SafetyAlerts
subscribers May 4, 2001. For more information regarding the SafetyAlerts free email
alert service please click here.