Vulto Creamery, Walton, NY, has expanded its recall to include all lots of four additional cheeses, in relation to an ongoing Listeria outbreak that has killed two people.
Eight cheeses from Vulto are now under nationwide recall: Heinennellie, Miranda, Willowemoc, Ouleout, Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden & Walton Umber because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.
The raw milk cheeses were distributed nationwide, with most being sold at retail locations in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, California, Chicago, Portland, OR, and Washington D.C.
Testing results from the Food & Drug Administration and the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets identified contamination in the Ouleout product. The particular strain of Listeria monocytogenes found by the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets matched the strain isolated from six ill people, including two who died, as well as a Listeria strain confirmed in an open package of Vulto cheese from a victim’s home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Consumers that have any of these cheeses from Vulto Creamery should return them to the purchase location for a refund. Food and cheese wholesalers and retailers with any Vulto Creamery cheeses should immediately remove these products from common storage coolers and quarantine these cheeses in a secured area of a cooler. Any wholesaler or distributor that has any of the eight recalled Vulto Creamery cheeses should contact Vulto Creamery to receive instructions on what to do with the cheese.
“No recalled cheese should be destroyed until Vulto Creamery has been notified and agrees,” according to the original and expanded recall notices.
The production and distribution of all cheese products have been suspended while FDA and the company continue to investigate the source of the problem.
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.
Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled cheese and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention. It can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, so people who have eaten the cheese recently should monitor themselves for symptoms for the coming weeks.
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.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)