US health officials say imported Italian ricotta cheese tainted with listeria bacteria is linked to 14 illnesses including at least one death. The ricotta salata cheese distributed by Forever Cheese Inc. of New York is linked to illnesses in 11 US states and the District of Columbia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Forever Cheese issued a recall of one lot—800 wheels of ricotta salata, or roughly 4,800 pounds—on Monday.
A Forever Cheese rep said the recalled Frescolina brand ricotta salata cheese is from one batch manufactured in Italy's Puglia region, but would not name the Italian company that manufactured it. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed listeria was present in an uncut sample of cheese from that batch. Ricotta salata is a salty, white cheese made from pasteurized sheep's milk. It is not the same as soft ricotta cheese sold in tubs and used to make lasagna.