The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued an advisory about four brands of the Italian blue cheese in the past month, three of them affecting multiple provinces.
Since Italian law strictly regulates what can be called “gorgonzola” cheese, Ottawa retailers said that’s left them with few options.
DiVino Wine Studio co-owner Eric Diotte said they ran out over the weekend.
“The chef has been telling me he can't get it, he can't get… so we're in a crisis,” he said.
“We have no cheese for our gorgonzola gnocchi.”
No reports of illness
Bosa Jevtic stocks cheese at the popular deli Nicastro’s and said Gorgonzola has been nearly impossible to find.
"People used to have it on their table, now we don't have that product,” she said.
“People are always asking what's wrong? When are we gonna get (it)?”
Cooks who can’t go without may end up going outside Italy’s borders, substituting with Roquefort from France or Stilton from England.
May be weeks before cheese brought in again
Domenic Benoit of Agropur, the company that imported the cheese into Canada, said the affected cheeses all came from a single Igor plant in Italy – the biggest producer of gorgonzola in the world.
"The safety of our product is our priority, it's going to take weeks – it's not a question of a week or two before the situation is stabalized," he said.
Benoit said the potential contamination was found in Canada, not at the plant, and they voluntarily recalled the products.
The CFIA said they have no reports of anyone becoming sick after eating a recalled brand of gorgonzola.
Listeria monocytogenes poisoning can cause diarrhea, vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues, followed in some cases by a brain infection or blood poisoning, which could be fatal.