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Burrata Cheese Recall Expanded

Jun 24, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

Earlier this month we reported that yet another food product was recalled due to a potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.  At that time, Fresca Italia of Brisbane, California recalled Burrata—a type of cheese—as a result of a survey sampling conducted by the California Department of Food & Agriculture.  The agency’s survey revealed that Fresca Italia’s Burrata contained the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.  Effective immediately, that recall—issued May 30—has been expanded to include all lot codes and expiration dates.

Fresca Italia’s Burrata was distributed in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Southern California in retail stores and restaurants.  Fresca Italia’s Burrata weighs approximately 8.8 ounces and is packaged in a white and green plastic wrapper with the manufacturer’s name—“Caseificio Voglie di Latte”—and the product name—“Burrata.”  The original recalled batch was labeled with the expiration date of 24/5/2008.  Fresca Italia announced it had immediately halted further distribution of the Burrata product; however, 606 pounds of the cheese were distributed with Lot Code 24/5/2008, 661 pounds with Lot Code 31/5/2008, and 490 pounds with Lot Code 07/06/2008.

Now, all lot codes and expiration dates are included in the recall following testing that revealed positive results for Listeria found in other product lots.  Testing was conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Listeriosis is a type of food poisoning generated by the Listeria monocytogenes bacteria and is dangerous to the elderly, pregnant women, newborns, those with chronic medical conditions, people with HIV, or those who are undergoing chemotherapy.  Most people experience mild flu-like symptoms—fever, muscle aches, nausea, or diarrhea.  In serious cases, the disease spreads to the nervous system, causing headaches, stiff neck, and convulsions.  In pregnant women, Listeriosis can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.  Listeria lives in soil, stream water, sewage, plants, and food and can easily contaminate dairy and beef products; Listeria thrives in cold environments.

This year, Listeria has been the focus of numerous outbreaks, including:  Three cases linked to soft cheeses in North Carolina and four deaths and more sickened in a Massachusetts Whittier Farms dairy outbreak.  In Washington, Ca Rem #1 Ice Cream, SeaTac recalled popsicles; in Minnesota, the Department of Agriculture issued an alert over J&B Meats smoked pork and beef bratwurst; in Michigan, Meijer Inc. pulled 2,184 pounds of frozen entrees; in Rhode Island, the Department of Health issued a warning about infected soy sprouts sold under Chang Farms label; in New York, the Gourmet Boutique recalled about 286,000 pounds of fresh and frozen beef, pork, and poultry products; and, in Georgia, the Department of Agriculture found Listeria in Bright Water Smoked Salmon & Cheese Spread.  R&R Alsatian Sausage and Products recalled beef jerky products; the FDA recalled Amish Macaroni Salad; Supreme Cuts, LLC recalled 87 cases of Off the Cob Fresh Kernel Corn; Stop and Shop recalled four types of chicken; and raw milk from Piney Ridge dairy and Clark and Elaine Duncan's farm was contaminated.  Recently, the FDA directed Hope Food Supply Inc. to shut down and immediately recall all products manufactured from its Texas facility since 2007 due to possible food contaminant risks following Hope’s failure to follow a previous consent decree.


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