The FDA reports that Whole Foods Market is 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. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

According to the CDC, as of September 11, 2012, a total of 14 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 11 states and the District of Columbia.  The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: California (1), Colorado (1), District of Columbia (1), Maryland (3), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), and Virginia (1).  All 14 ill persons have been hospitalized. Three deaths have been reported.

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.

Whole Foods Market stores in the following states are affected by this recall:

1. Alabama (1 store)

2. Arizona (2 stores)

3. California (2 stores)

4. Colorado(2 stores)

5. Florida (5 stores)

6. Georgia (4 stores)

7. Kansas (1 store)

8. Kentucky (1 store)

9. Maryland (6 stores)

10. North Carolina (7 stores)

11. New Jersey (2 stores)

12. New Mexico (2 stores)

13. New York (2 stores)

14. Ohio (2 stores)

15. Oregon (6 stores)

16. Pennsylvania (5 stores)

17. South Carolina (1 store)

18. Tennessee (3 stores)

19. Utah (1 store)

20. Virginia (6 stores)

21. Washington (6 stores)

22. Washington, D.C. (3 stores)

Signage is posted in Whole Foods Market stores to notify customers of this recall.