Soft Cheese Triggers Listeria Outbreak, Killing 2
A New York creamery was forced to recall items after a fatal disease outbreak stemming from their soft cheese products.
Vulto Creamery, in Walton, New York, recalled eight cheese items after a possible contamination of Listeria monocytogenes, according to the US Food & Drug Administration. The infection is primarily spread via contaminated food.
The cheeses Vulto recalled as a result of the listeria threat included Heinennellie, Miranda, Willowemoc, Ouleout, Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, and Walton Umber. The soft raw cheeses were sold throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York. Consumers are now being urged to return any of the Vulto products listed to the purchase location. The company's cheese production has been suspended while the FDA investigate the issue.
Severe headache, fever, stiffness, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are some of the short-term symptoms healthy individuals exhibit once they have contracted the disease.
The elderly, infants, and pregnant women are particularly at risk of contracting the infection, which also poses a threat to others with a weakened immune system.
Listeria causes meningitis, while contributing to sepsis, stillbirths, preterm labor, and fatal infections in newborns. It has also been previously linked to instances of miscarriage.
The Listeria bacteria can be life-threatening; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that two people from Connecticut and Vermont have died due to the most recent outbreak.
Problem products include soft cheeses like the aforementioned Vulto products, as well as unpasteurized milk, raw spouts, and melons.
Another outbreak of listeria was triggered by raw milk produced by Miller's Organic Farm in Pennsylvania last year, which resulted in one fatality. In the wake of that instance, the CDC urged consumers to drink and eat only pasteurized dairy products:
This recommendation is especially important for people at higher risk for foodborne illness: children younger than 5, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems.