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US court bars Vulto Creamery from cheese production over food safety violations

FBR Staff Writer Published 03 April 2018

A US federal court has barred Vulto Creamery from manufacturing and selling its cheese products after the company was found to be the source of a Listeria outbreak that sickened eight people and killed two.

As per the order of the US District Court for the Northern District of New York, Vulto Creamery has been prohibited from manufacturing its ready-to-eat aged soft, semi-soft and hard cheeses.

The ban enforced by the court will be until the New York-based raw milk cheese company complies with food safety regulations.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Vulto Creamery cannot carry out preparation, processing, manufacturing, packing and/or holding FDA-regulated food products until they ensure that their facility and food is free from Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).

FDA regulatory affairs associate commissioner Melinda Plaisier said: “We have an obligation to make sure that foods are safe for people to consume. The FDA moved quickly after an L. mono outbreak to get the company to recall and destroy all its cheese products and cease production to prevent any more tainted food from harming consumers.

“FDA investigators also found unsanitary conditions at Vulto Creamery’s facility and this consent decree prevents the company and its owner from resuming operations until they can demonstrate to the FDA that their products are safe.”

The FDA alleged that Vulto Creamery’s products were prepared, packed and/or stored under unsanitary conditions. Owing to this, the regulator said that the company’s food could have been contaminated with filth or otherwise that is not fit for human consumption.

FDA also revealed that for Vulto Creamery to resume its operations, it has to retain an independent laboratory to collect and test environmental and finished samples for the presence of L. mono.

The cheese company, as per the court order, should also retain an independent expert and come up with a program to control the pathogenic bacterium, and remove unsanitary conditions at its cheese processing facility.

Last year, Vulto Creamery had to recall all batches of its Ouleout, Miranda, Heinennellie, and Willowemoc soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses after one of them was found to be possibly contaminated with L. mono.


Image: In March 2017, Vulto Creamery recalled some of its soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses over possible contamination with L. mono. Photo: courtesy of U.S. Food and Drug Administration.