April 27, 2017

Vulto Raw Cheese Listeria Outbreak: FDA’s Form 483 Released

The FDA has released Form 483 in their investigation of the Vulto Creamery raw cheese Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. That form is used when problems are found at a food facility. The creamery was inspected by government officials from 2/28/2017 - 3/22/2017.  In all, Form 483 states that there were 15 observations where an issue was found during the FDA inspections. In the CDC's investigation of that multistate listeriosis outbreak, there were six people sickened by products made at that creamery. All of those six people were hospitalized. Two people from Connecticut and Vermont died, and one illness was reported in a newborn. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria was found in samples taken from three intact wheels of Ouleout cheese collected from Vulto Creamery. … [Read more...]

History of Listeria Monocytogenes Outbreaks Linked to Cheese

Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks don't occur very often. About 1,600 Americans are sickened every year by this pathogenic bacteria. But when they do occur people are seriously sickened and some die. So how many listeriosis outbreaks have been linked to cheeses? In the last five years, there have been six outbreaks linked to cheese products caused  by this pathogenic bacteria. In five of the outbreaks, the cheeses were made from pasteurized milk, but were contaminated after that process. In the current outbreak, the cheeses were made from raw, or unpasteurized, milk. Most of these outbreaks are linked to soft cheeses. In 2015, a listeriosis outbreak linked to soft cheeses produced by Karoun Dairies of California sickened 30 people in 10 states, killing three and causing one … [Read more...]

Vulto Expands Recall of Raw Milk Cheeses for Listeria

Vulto Creamery of Walton, New York, has voluntarily expanded their recall of raw milk cheeses after their Ouleout cheese was linked to a deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. Six people have been sickened in this outbreak so far, and two of those patients have died. The previous recall included Heinnenellie, Miranda, Willowemoc, and Ouleout raw milk cheeses. The new recall adds Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, and Walton Umber to the list. You can see pictures of the recalled cheeses on the FDA website along with product descriptions. These raw milk cheeses were distributed nationwide, with most sold at retail locations in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and California. They were also sold in Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, D.C. We don't know the dates of … [Read more...]

FDA On Vulto Creamery Ouleout Cheese Listeria Outbreak

The FDA has released information about its investigation into the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to recalled Vulto raw milk soft cheeses. Ouleout cheese from that dairy in Walton, New York has been identified as the "likely source" of the outbreak that has sickened six people in four states. Two of those six people have died. The FDA, CDC, and state government agencies have been investigating this outbreak since January 31, 2017. Ouleout cheese from Vulto Creamery tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in early March, and the company began contacting its customers, asking them to return the product. On March 7, 2017, Vulto recalled that cheese along with Miranda, Heinennellie, and Willowemoc cheese varieties. Then, on March 8, 2017, the FDA was told that … [Read more...]

Whole Foods Recalled Vulto Creamery Cheese

The listeriosis outbreak linked to recalled Vulto washed-rind raw milk cheeses has sickened six people in four states. Two people have died in this outbreak. All six patients were hospitalized, including a newborn baby who was diagnosed with listeriosis. And there's a mystery in this Listeria monocytogenes outbreak. We don't know exactly where the recalled cheeses that caused these illnesses were sold. The Vulto Creamery cheese has been linked to the outbreak through whole genome sequencing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and epidemiological evidence. Labs in two states found the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes in Ouleout cheese. The New York Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services took three intact wheels of that type of cheese from the Vulto Creamery during an … [Read more...]

Two Dead, Six Ill in Vulto Raw Milk Cheese Listeria Outbreak

The CDC has announced a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak is linked to soft raw milk cheese produced by Vulto Creamery in Walton, New York. Two people have died and six are sickened in this outbreak. The case count by state is: New York (3), Florida (1), Vermont (1), and Connecticut (1). Illnesses began on September 1, 2016. All six patients were hospitalized. One person from Connecticut and one person from Vermont died. One illness was reported in a newborn. Infants can be born with Listeria monocytogenes infections when their mothers eat products contaminated with the bacteria. The bacteria can pass through the placenta because the mother's immune system response attacks the placenta. The outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes was identified in samples taken from three intact … [Read more...]

Blue Bell Wants to Ease Listeria Precautions

According to the Houston Chronicle, Blue Bell wants to drop the precautionary standards it put in place after the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to its products was revealed in 2014. Ten people were sickened in that outbreak; the illnesses went back to 2010. Instead, the company wants to use the more general safety measures used in the ice cream industry. But Blue Bell was finding Listeria Monocytogenes in its plants a year after the outbreak. And according to FDA records, the company knew about potential Listeria contamination in one of its plants a year before the outbreak. The Justice Department started an investigation into the company's practices  and is trying to determine when company officials knew about the contamination. FDA officials found Listeria … [Read more...]

Top 10 Largest Multistate Outbreaks in 2016: Number 10

Every year we gather information about the largest food poisoning outbreaks of the last 12 months. There were many outbreaks this year; some sickened hundreds of people. The largest outbreaks were confined to one state. The outbreaks in this list crossed state lines. The tenth largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2016 was a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to frozen vegetables. At least 9 people in 4 states were sickened in this particular outbreak. All of those sickened were hospitalized, and three people died, although the listeriosis illness was considered a factor in only one of those deaths. Epidemiologic and traceback evidence found that frozen vegetables produced by CRF Frozen Foods of Pasco, Washington and sold under different brand names were the likely … [Read more...]

SM Fish Closed by FDA; Illnesses Linked to Facility

The FDA has suspended the food facility registration of SM Fish Corporation of Far Rockaway, New York after finding Listeria monocytogenes at that location during three different inspections. In addition, whole genome sequencing (WGS) matched one of the strains found at SM Fish to isolates from four people sickened with listeriosis. Anyone with un-expired ready to eat food manufactured by SM Fish should not eat those products. This is an expansion of the July 29, 2016 recall of Ossie's Herring Salads to include all RTE foods from that facility. Ossie's ready to eat seafood salads were also recalled on September for possible Listeria contamination. Listeria was first fond in the facility in 2015 and found Listeria bacteria in 15 of 105 locations swabbed throughout the building. An … [Read more...]

FDA Too Slow To Issue Recalls, HHS Audit Says

The FDA is too slow to get food companies to recall contamianted products, according to an audit by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In some cases, firms waited for months before they recalled their products that caused many illnesses. The HHS Office released a report that states "we found that the FDA did not have an efficient and effective food recall initiation process that helps ensure the safety of the Nation's food supply. Specifically, FDA did not have policies and procedures to ensure that firms or responsible parties initiated voluntary food recalls promptly. This issue is a significant matter and requires FDA's immediate attention." FDA relies on firms to recall food that can be harmful to the public health. The government did not have the authority to … [Read more...]

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