June 18, 2024

Vulto Creamery Ordered to Stop Sales for Food Safety Violations

Products made by Vulto Creamery caused a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak in 2017 that sickened eight people in four states. All of the patients were hospitalized. Two people died. And one infection was diagnosed in a newborn.

Vulto Creamery Consent Decree of Permanent Injunction

Now the company has been placed under a consent decree of permanent injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, on behalf of the FDA. The defendants cannot prepare, process, manufacture, pack, and/or hold FDA regulated food products until they can ensure that Listeria monocytogenes bacteria are not present in their food or facility.

FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said in a statement, “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 company must retain an independent laboratory to collect and analyze environmental samples and food samples for the presence of the pathogenic bacteria. They must also retain an independent expert who will develop a program to control the pathogenic bacteria. Unsanitary conditions at the facility must be eliminated.

The deadly outbreak was linked to soft cheese produced by Vulto Creamery. Ouleout cheese was the likely source of the outbreak. Positive tests were conducted on a retail sample of the product; the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes was found on the cheese. Eventually, Vulto recalled all of its products on the market, including these cheeses: Ouleout, Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, Heinennellie, Miranda, Walton Umber, and Willowemoc.

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