Bad news, everyone: the CDC announced today it was recalling 800 wheels, or roughly 4,800 pounds, of ricotta salata cheese. The ricotta salata in question is tainted with listeria, which is a salmonella-like pathogen that will make you incredibly sick if you're old, pregnant, sick or a (figurative/literal) baby. I was going to say something like, "But who cares because Ricotta is obviously the lamest non-cottage cheese," but it turns out ricotta salata is not the boring mushy stuff in lasagna. It's instead a "salty, white cheese made from pasteurized sheep's milk," which sounds gross enough without the listeria. So far 14 people have gotten sick, with at least one confirmed death.
The company responsible for distributing the Italian-made cheese is called Forever Cheese, Inc., and they put it pretty much everywhere.
The cheese was distributed to retail stores and restaurants in California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington between June 20 and August 9.
As those of you with calendars are surely noting, August 9th was over a month ago - shouldn't restaurants already have tossed this cheese by now due to mold and whatnot?
Nope. The CDC says the ricotta "can have up to a four-month shelf life, so some consumers may still have it in their homes."
So if you've been hoarding gross cheese, you might want to consider dumping it, ASAP.