Attorney Fred Pritzker, who won $6,000,000 for victims of a past Listeria outbreak, is representing victims of the outbreak of Listeria infections (listeriosis)  linked to ricotta salata recalled by Whole Foods Market. The supplier of the cheese, a sheep’s milk cheese imported from Italy, was Forever Cheese, Inc., a New York company. Whole Foods had cut and repackaged the cheese with a Whole Foods label. An unopened wheel of the ricotta salata tested positive for the outbreak strain of Listeria (read about DNA fingerprinting of outbreaks with PFGE).

Victims of this outbreak and their families can contact Fred Pritzker here for a free consultation regarding a lawsuit to compensate for medical expenses, lost income, pain, emotional suffering, disability, loss of quality of life and wrongful death.

One of Fred’s clients who is part of this outbreak ate Jean Perrin Edel de Cleron cheese purchased at Whole Foods market, not the ricotta salata. This cheese, which was also cut and repackaged with a Whole Foods label, also tested positive for Listeria and was recalled in July of this year (2012).

Although the CDC only mentioned the ricotta salata imported by Forever Cheese in its outbreak announcement, the agency indicated that more kinds of cheese were also involved in the outbreak and that several of the victims recalled purchasing cheese from one retailer.  What most likely happened is that a wheel of the ricotta salata contaminated with Listeria bacteria transferred some of the bacteria to equipment and tools used to cut the cheese. The equipment and/or tools then spread the Listeria bacteria to other kinds of cheese. This is called cross contamination.

Whole Foods Market Cheese Recall: Ricotta Salata from Forever Cheese

On September 12, 2012, Whole Foods Market announced that it was recalling ricotta salata sold in 21 states and Washington, D.C. that came from its supplier Forever Cheese Inc. of Long Island City, NY.  Forever Cheese recalled this cheese product because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The recalled Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand cheese was cut into wedges, packaged in clear plastic wrap and sold with a Whole Foods Market scale label using PLU 293427.  All “sell by” dates through Oct. 2 are affected. Fourteen illnesses have been reported which may be associated with the Frescolina recall.

The listeriosis outbreak linked to the ricotta salata cheese (and other kinds of cheeses) has sickened at least 14 people in 11 states and DC, and most likely many, many more.

Among persons for whom information is available, dates that illness was diagnosed range from March 28, 2012 to August 30, 2012. All 14 ill persons were hospitalized. Four of the illnesses were related to a pregnancy; two of these were diagnosed in newborns. The other 10 ill persons ranged in age from 56 years to 87 years, with a median age of 79 years, and 55% were female. No fetal losses have been reported. Three deaths have been reported; one each in Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York. Listeriosis contributed to at least one of the deaths in Nebraska and New York.

Listeria attorney Fred Pritzker has represented families in Listeria wrongful death cases and listeriosis victims in personal injury cases involving Listeria meningitis, sepsis and other serious health consequences.