April 2 (UPI) — A New York creamery must stop producing and distributing products after listeria-contaminated cheeses killed two people and sickened several others, the Department of Justice said Monday.
Vulto Creamery and owner Johannes Vulto violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by manufacturing and selling the cheeses in Walton, N.Y., the department said in a statement.
The listeriosis outbreak spanned multiple states in March 2017.
A complaint from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the creamery prepared, packed or held the contaminated products in unsanitary conditions. Additionally, company records indicated that Vulto officials detected listeria at the facility but failed to test cheese products, and used raw or unpasteurized milk to make the cheese.
“The presence of this dangerous bacteria at a cheese manufacturing facility in Upstate New York is of grave concern,” U.S. Attorney Grant Jaquith for the Northern District of New York said. “We will continue to use all available tools to ensure that our food supply is safe and violations of laws protecting public heath are addressed.”
In order to begin making and selling products again, the creamery must comply with remedial measures under a consent decree with the Department of Justice. Vulto must hire a qualified independent expert to create a sanitation protocol for the creamery, and must received written approval from the FDA before resuming production.