The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia has charged Jospeh Lotito, owner of Lebanon Cheese Co. in Lebanon, NJ, with causing the interstate shipment of adulterated ricotta cheese. Apparently, some milk that was being sent to a landfill and deemed unfit for human consumption ended up being used in the production of their signature impastata ricotta cheese. Lebanon Cheese Co. supplies local supermarkets and restaurants with their line of products.
Lotito is being accused of buying the milk—which contained excessively high levels of antibiotics—from the Landis Trucking Company, whom were paid to reroute the product which was headed for a "manure pit" in Willow Street, PA. The trucking company is being charged separately in the case, and William DeStefano, attorney for Lebanon Cheese, said, "the real villain appears to be Landis. He was going out and shopping it around to various cheese companies, and I’m told it’s quite common.”
The going rate on trash milk is about $4 per hundred pounds of product, versus the $12 one normally pays for the safe version. DeStefano noted that the charges were merely a misdemeanor, and that Lotito and the Lebanon team were "a good company, good people." That's exactly what we were thinking, too.
Apparently the Yelp community has found out about the recent boo-boos the cheesers pulled, and have gotten creative in the comments section. Our personal favorite: "LEBANON CHEESE, OUR CHEESE WILL GIVE YOU (sic) DIARHEA !!"
The other post we enjoyed on the same Yelp thread from Elite User Jim B.: "My wife and I discussed the ricotta here as compared to Di Palo's in New York. We agreed that it is as good but just a little different - maybe it is different cows."