Can Your Raw Cheese Plate Kill You?

Justin Greene
March 14, 2017

Usually, healthy individuals are only affected in the short term, but infections can be fatal for young children, elderly people, and pregnant women. Retailers and restaurants were advised to stop selling and serving these products. 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 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.

Six illnesses have been reported since September 2016, including two deaths, in CT (1), Florida (1), NY (3) and Vermont (1).

According to the CDC, outbreaks of listeria in the 1990s were primarily linked to deli meats and hot dogs. Older people and those with a weak immune system can die from listeria, especially if it is not caught in time.

Listeria is a severe infection that is usually caused by contaminated products. Other recent outbreaks were tied to soft cheeses, celery, sprouts, cantaloupe and ice cream. The company that produces these products announced a recall of all the raw milk cheeses. This investigation started January 31st.

After being informed of a positive test conducted by the FDA on a retail sample of Ouleout cheese, Vulto began contacting customers on March 3, asking that they return the product.

On Wednesday, the FDA received positive test results confirming that Ouleout cheese samples matched the genetic fingerprint of the outbreak bacteria. The company suspended production until the end of the investigation.

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