The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Vulto Creamery LLC of Walton, N.Y. so that they cannot prepare, process, manufacture, pack and/or hold FDA-regulated food products until they can ensure that Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause a rare but potentially life-threatening illness, is not present in their facility and their food.
The company caused a multi-state outbreak of Listeria with its soft, semi-soft and hard cheeses made with raw milk. Eight people were infected from four states, and two people died. Ordinarily, if the cheeses are properly aged (60 days) they will be safe even though the milk is raw. Nature provides its own "pasteurization" over time. But the facility itself had unsafe processing equipment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration found the products were prepared, packed and/or held under unsanitary conditions and the food may have become contaminated with filth. They also found unsanitary conditions at Vulto Creamery’s facility.
People with compromised immune systems, the elderly, pregnant women and developing fetuses are particularly susceptible to listeriosis. The company is banned from producing cheese until it complies with food safety regulations and must: retain an independent laboratory to collect and analyze environmental and finished samples for the presence of L. mono; retain an independent expert and develop a program to control L. mono; and eliminate unsanitary conditions at its facility.
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