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Two Dead From Cheese Contaminated With Listeria

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listeria
Recalled Cheese (Composite: FoodSafetyNews)
Listeria
(Vulto/FDA)

Two people are dead and four others are confirmed sick with a strain of Listeria monocytogenes found in cheese made from unpasteurized raw milk. Vulto Creamery is recalling the cheese from retailers and distributors nationwide.

It’s been more than five months since the first outbreak victim became sick on Sept. 1, 2016, but federal officials said Jos Vulto, owner of the Walton, NY, cheese operation initiated the recall as soon as he heard about the “cannot rule out” test results on his cheese. He began pulling cheese back from his customers March 3 and posted the public recall Tuesday.

listeria
(Vulto/FDA)

Since then, the Food and Drug Administration has confirmed Listeria monocytogenes in Vulto’s finished product, according to an outbreak notice posted by the agency Thursday. The FDA and other state and federal agencies have been investigating the outbreak since Jan. 31. The most recent illness began on Jan. 22.

Confirmed victims are from Vermont, New York, Connecticut and Florida. All six required hospitalization. Two died. Victims’ ages range from less than one year to 89, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

listeria
(Vulto/FDA)

All six outbreak victims ate soft cheeses before becoming sick. The outbreak strain of Listeria has been confirmed in open cheese from a victim’s home and in finished cheese at the Vulto operation.

The production of  the product has been suspended while FDA and the company  continue to investigate the source of the problem.  If you have any questions or seek additional information, please call 607-222-3995 during our normal hours of operations (Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm ET) or email us at vultocreamery@gmail.com.

Food Safety Newsexcerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Mar. 10, 2017

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