Earlier today we heard that a ricotta salata imported by Forever Cheese and sold in 11 states is contaminated with listeria, resulting in 14 reported illnesses and one death. Forever Cheese issued a voluntary recall of the product, and recommend that consumers who may still have the cheese ask retailers where it came from or just throw it out to be safe.
culture's editor Elaine Khosrova spoke with Michelle Buster, vice president of Forever Cheese about the recall:
Yesterday the CDC announced that three deaths and 14 illnesses have been linked to an imported ricotta salata as a result of listeria contamination. Tough news for Forever Cheese, who voluntarily recalled the cheese after it was suspected to be infected with listeria. Consumers have been told to throw out any of this cheese immediately:
Forever Cheese of Astoria, N.Y., has voluntarily recalled one lot of its Frescolina-brand ricotta salata cheese because of Listeria monocytogenes contamination. The cheese was sold between June 20 and Aug. 9. The original, large wheels of cheese had a production number of "441202" on them.
The CDC did not say where the death occurred. State health officials in Maryland said three people have been hospitalized after consuming listeria-tainted cheese.
The Good Food Awards took in more entries than ever this year, from all over the US. Stay tuned for the judging and events in January, and hooray for craft food producers!
The Good Food Awards—the first national awards to recognize American craft food producers who excel in both taste and sustainability—successfully closed its call for entries (August 5-31st) with over 1,350 entries representing 49 states and 1 federal district, and are gearing up for the biggest Blind Tasting to date since the Awards' inception. There was an overall increase in entries of 40% from last year, indicating the growth in a movement to create businesses based on the sort of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible.
Comté Cheese Association Offers Scholarship Opportunity to First-Ever Certified Cheese Professionals
In the wake of the first ever Certified Cheese Professional Exam that took place in Raleigh this August, the Comté Association is offering an enticing scholarship to the mongers who passed the test. Who doesn't want an all-expenses-paid trip to Comté?
The Comté Cheese Association is thrilled to announce an exciting scholarship opportunity for the American Cheese Society’s first-ever Certified Cheese Professionals™ (ACS CCP™s). Cheese experts who have passed the Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam—the first of its kind in the US—have the unique opportunity to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Comté region to learn first-hand about the cheese’s unique history and production, as well as to explore the region and its culture.
We figure most people have a weird relationship with buttermilk - what is that stuff, anyway? The short answer is that "real buttermilk is what’s left of heavy cream once it has been churned." The best part is that it's delicious, and has steadily been making itself noticed through serious butter makers and innovative chefs. The New York Times has the story, and it's a good one:
“People have no idea how good this stuff is, but they are about to find out,” said Mr. Patry, 62, who is possibly the most optimistic and talkative native Mainer in history.
This past August the first ever American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional™ exam was held and 70 of the 121 people who passed the test were Whole Foods Market employees, making Whole Foods the retailer with the largest number of certified cheesemongers in 2012. Congratulations to all these cheesemongers for their achievement this inaugural year.
The certification marks cheesemongers' thorough understanding of and passion for cheese. The exam tests for knowledge of cheese making, ripening, storage, handling, nutrition and more. Those who pass the exam demonstrate acumen in cheese from farm to counter and are the best of the best.
The Whole Foods Market cheesemongers who passed the exam represent two countries, 21 states and 68 stores.
After learning that only 1%t of sheep's milk cheese in America is produced in the United States, farmers Colleen and Michael Histon started Maryland's first sheep creamery. Shepherds Manor Creamery is located in New Windsor and produces cheese and soap:
Colleen had no experience in cheese making before they decided to pursue it professionally. She took two weeks of classes at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheeses, as well as annual classes held at the Dairy Sheep Association of North America Symposium.
Now she makes four different types of cheese: a salt-brined feta, one of the most traditional forms of sheep cheese; a Colby, for those who are timid about trying sheep cheese; a farmer’s cheese, which is mild tasting and semi-soft so that it is spreadable; and the Tomme, her artisan cheese with a hard rind.
Tough news, but cheese news nonetheless.
Forever Cheese inc. is recalling all Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand, Forever Cheese lot # T9425 and/or production code 441202, from one specific production date due to possible Listeria Monocytogenes contamination.
Lou Di Palo, of Di Palo Fine Foods in New York's Little Italy tells cheese lovers that they need to pay more attention to the way they store their cheese.
You've got to understand that cheese--not processed cheese, but cheese--is living, and it's going to go through stages. As soon as the cheese is cut, it's immediately oxidizing.