A multi-state Listeria outbreak, causing illness in six people from four states, two of the whom have died, has been traced back to Ouleout cheese from Vulto Creamery of Walton, N.Y., as the likely source. In the investigaion being conducted by the FDA, along with CDC and state and local officials, CDC reports that six people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from Connecticut, Florida, New York and Vermont. The soft raw milk cheeses were distributed nationwide, with most being sold at retail locations in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, California, Chicago, Portland and Washington, DC.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from September 1, 2016, to January 22, 2017. All six people were hospitalized and two people have died. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 89, with a median age of 55. The agencies have been investigating this outbreak since January 31, 2017. Information gathered from interviews asking about foods eaten by individuals taken ill, along with testing of cheeses collected from an individual linked to the outbreak from a retail location, and from Vulto Creamery, indicates that Ouleout soft cheese is the likely source of illnesses associated with this outbreak.
An open consumer sample was collected and tested by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The sample matched the outbreak strain and was identified as Ouleout soft cheese from Vulto Creamery. After being informed of the link between the illnesses and soft cheese, Vulto Creamery announced a recall of Ouleout cheese on March 7, 2017, along with additional soft cheeses, including Miranda, Heinennelli, and Willowemoc varieties. On March 8, 2017, FDA received positive test results from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets confirming samples of Ouleout cheese that matched the genetic fingerprint of Listeria monocytogenes in the outbreak.
During a joint inspection with FDA at Vulto Creamery, samples of Ouleout cheese collected and tested by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets identified the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. This laboratory testing provides additional evidence that the people in this outbreak became ill from eating cheese produced by Vulto Creamery.
Consumers that have any of these soft raw milk cheeses from Vulto Creamery should return the cheese to the purchase location for a refund. Food and cheese wholesalers and retailers with any of the Vulto Creamery soft, wash-rind raw milk cheeses on hand 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 four 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
The production of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue to investigate the source of the problem. If you have any questions or seek additional information, please call 607-222-3995 during our normal hours of operations (Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm ET) or email us at email@example.com.
For a complete list of recalls linked to Vulto Creamery, and photos of recalled cheeses, see Vulto Creamery Issues Voluntary Recall of All Soft, Wash-Rind Raw Milk Cheeses Because of Possible Health Risk.