FDA warning on imported Mascarpone cream cheese
September 9, 1996
Web posted at: 8:00 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is
warning people not to eat a certain type of imported Italian
cream cheese as it has been linked to one death and at least
three cases of botulism in Italy.
Imported mascarpone cream cheese, sold under the Giglio,
Parmalat and Sol di Valle brand names, may be contaminated
with the bacteria that causes botulism -- even if the cheese
doesn't look or smell spoiled, the FDA said.
So far, no illnesses have been reported in the United States.
Infection with botulism can result in general weakness,
dizziness, double vision and trouble speaking or swallowing.
Other common symptoms include breathing difficulties, muscle
weakness, abdominal distention and constipation.
People experiencing these problems should seek immediate
Italian authorities told the FDA some of the products may
have been exported to the United States. The FDA is working
with the companies to determine just how much cheese was
imported and where it was distributed.
Mascarpone cream cheese is commonly used in Italian desserts
such as tiramisu, and other dishes made with soft cheeses.
It is both sold alone and listed as an ingredient in prepared
foods, although the food label may mention only mascarpone
and not the Italian brand names.
The FDA said Battaglia & Co. Inc. of New Jersey imported the
Italian cheeses and is recalling them. Consumers may call
Battaglia for more information about the recall: 201-531-
0489, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT.
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