ALERT: 2 People Dead Due to Multi-State Listeria Outbreak Linked to Raw Milk Cheese
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in cooperation with local public health and regulatory officials as well as the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), is investigating a multi-state listeria outbreak linked a soft raw milk cheese manufactured by Vulto Creamery and distributed nationwide.
So far, CDC confirmed six people across four states getting sick after eating the various types of soft cheese since September 2016. All of the six patients were hospitalized with the outbreak strain of Listeria. Unfortunately, two of the patients, one from Connecticut and the other from Vermont, died.
The median age of the patients affected by the outbreak is 55, with the youngest less than one year old and the oldest about 89 years old. Majority of the patients were female, five out of six.
During a joint investigation, the FDA and the New York Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services identified the outbreak strain of Listeria in the samples taken out from three intact wheels of Ouleout cheese from Vulto Creamery. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence suggest that the most likely source of the outbreak is soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery of Walton, New York.
A few days after being informed that their products were contaminated with Listeria, Vulto Creamery issued a voluntary recall on March 7, 2017. The recalled products include all lots of Ouleout, Miranda, Heinennellie and Willowemoc soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses.
CDC noted that the affected products were distributed nationwide, with most being sold at retail locations in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, California, Chicago, Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C.
According to the report from CNN, CDC warned consumers to refrain eating the recalled products. Restaurants and retailers were also advised not to sell or serve the contaminated cheese.
Listeriosis is a serious infection caused by foods contaminated with Listeria. Symptoms of listeriosis may include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. Listeriosis among pregnant women, elderly, children and people with weakened immune system can be fatal.