Bill Marler

Food Safety Advocate & Food Poisoning Attorney

Joanna and Felix Valentine – The 2012 Marte Brand Frescolina Ricotta Salata Cheese Listeria Outbreak

In the fall of 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) collaborated with public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis). Joint investigation efforts indicated that ricotta salata cheese was the likely source.

The cheese was imported from Italy and distributed by Forever Cheese, Inc. The FDA isolated the outbreak strain of Listeria from a sample of uncut Frescolina Marte brand ricotta salata cheese.

In total, 22 people were infected with the outbreak strain from 13 states and the District of Columbia. 20 of the ill persons were hospitalized.

Joanna Valentine was in her seventh month of pregnancy when she became ill with Listeria after consuming contaminated Fattorie Chiarappa manufactured cheese, imported by Forever Cheese. Joanna began to experience fever and chills and within a few days went into labor prematurely. On September 15, 2012 Joana gave birth to a son, Felix Soren Valentine. Unfortunately, Felix had contracted the Listeriosis infection from his mother and within two weeks passed away from organ failure related to the infection along with premature birth.

Marler Clark represented the Valentines in claims against Forever Cheese. You can read more about Listeria lawsuits and litigation that stemmed from the Forever Cheese Listeria Outbreak on the Marler Clark Website.  

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