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New York cheese company recalls raw milk products after people died of Listeria

By Mason White 3:54 PM March 13, 2017
Vulto Creamery cheese
Vulto Creamery cheese
By: Tanya Clark

(Scroll down for video) Consumers of raw milk cheese products are concerned after several people died following the consumption of certain cheeses.

Vulto Creamery of Walton, New York, expanded their initial recall to include all lots for four additional cheeses.

The company warned consumers to return their Andes, Blue Blais, and Hamden & Walton Umber products.

In total, Vulto Creamery has recalled the following eight cheese items: Heinennellie, Miranda, Willowemoc, Ouleout , Andes, Blue Blais, and Hamden & Walton Umber due to potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Listeria infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and fetal infection among pregnant women.

The raw milk cheeses were distributed nationwide, with most being sold at retail locations in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, California, Chicago, Illinois, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.

Testing results from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets identified Ouleout product contamination.

The particular strain of Listeria monocytogenes found in the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets was found to be similar to the strain isolated from a cluster outbreak of Listeriosis responsible for 6 illnesses and 2 confirmed deaths.

Consumers that have any of these cheeses from Vulto Creamery, should return the products to the purchase location for a refund.

Food and cheese wholesalers and retailers with any Vulto Creamery cheeses on hand should immediately remove these products from common storage coolers and quarantine these cheeses in a secured area of a cooler, the FDA said.

Any wholesaler or distributor that has any of the eight Vulto Creamery cheeses should contact Vulto Creamery to receive instructions on what to do with the cheese, the FDA added.

The production and distribution of all cheese products have been suspended while FDA and the company continue to investigate the source of the problem.

Consumers with any questions or seeking additional information can call (607) 222-3995.

In response to Vulto Creamery’s recall of soft wash rind raw milk cheeses, Whole Foods Market is voluntarily recalling the products from nine stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York, out of an abundance of caution.

The cheeses have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.