Whole Food Recalls Cheeses Linked To Two Listeria-Related Deaths

Whole Foods has expanded a recent recall of Vulto Creamery cheese products potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes after health officials linked two deaths and four illnesses to the cheese made from unpasteurized raw milk.

The recall, which came after Vulto Creamery expanded its own recall late last week, covers three cheese products sold in just eight stores in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Monday’s expanded recall includes Vulto Creamery Andes, Hamden, and Walton Umber raw milk cheeses. The products were cut and packaged in clear plastic wrap with scale labels beginning with PLU codes 0200307, 0201357 or 0206308 and “sell by” dates from 01/02/2017 to 04/02/2017.

Previously, Whole Foods recalled two products — Vulto Creamery Ouleout and Miranda soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses — sold at nine stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and New York.

Vulto Creamery’s listeria contamination came to light on March 7 when the company announced the recall of all lots of its Ouleout, Miranda, Heinennellie, and Willowemoc soft wash-rind raw milk cheeses.

The company said in a notice to the Food & Drug Administration, that FDA testing found Ouleout lot #617 positive for listeria monocytogenes and the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets found possible contaminations in Ouleout lot #623.

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, OR, and Washington, D.C.

The company said at the time that it had suspended production of the cheese while the FDA and the company investigate the problem.

Two days later, the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention announced that it was collaborating with public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the FDA to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes.

According to the CDC, six people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported in Connecticut, Florida, New York, and Vermont since Sept. 1, 2016.

All six of the ill people reported being hospitalized, and two people from Connecticut and Vermont died.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicates that soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery of Walton, NY, is the likely source of this outbreak, according to the CDC, adding that all six people who became ill reported eating soft cheese.

Additionally, the Connecticut Department of Public Health collected leftover cheeses from the deceased person’s home in Connecticut.

The agency identified the outbreak strain of Listeria in leftover Ouleout cheese from Vulto Creamery.

Following the CDC’s announcement, Vulto Creamery expanded its recall to cover four additional cheeses: Heinennellie, Miranda, Willowemoc, Ouleout, Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, and Walton Umber.

In all, Whole Foods is recalling the following products:

Cheese Sold At: PLU Code Sold By Date Range
Andes 94 Derby Street, Hingham, MA
1255 Raritan Road Unit 150, Clark, NJ
300 Bergen Town Center, Paramus, NJ
238 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
1095 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY
270 Greenwich Street, New York, NY
4 Union Square South, New York, NY
575 Boston Post Road, Port Chester, NY
0200307
0201357
0206308
01/02/2017 to 04/02/2017.
Hamden 94 Derby Street, Hingham, MA
1255 Raritan Road Unit 150, Clark, NJ
300 Bergen Town Center, Paramus, NJ
238 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
1095 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY
270 Greenwich Street, New York, NY
4 Union Square South, New York, NY
575 Boston Post Road, Port Chester, NY
0200307
0201357
0206308
01/02/2017 to 04/02/2017
Walton Umber 94 Derby Street, Hingham, MA
1255 Raritan Road Unit 150, Clark, NJ
300 Bergen Town Center, Paramus, NJ
238 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
1095 Avenue of the Americas. New York, NY
270 Greenwich Street, New York, NY
4 Union Square South, New York, NY
575 Boston Post Road, Port Chester, NY
0200307
0201357
0206308
 01/02/2017 to 04/02/2017
Ouleout 350 Grasmere Avenue, Fairfield, CT
115 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA
0200305
0200306
12/27/2016 to 03/28/2017
Miranda 170 Great Road, Bedford, MA
575 Worcester Road, Framingham, MA
647 Washington Street, Newton, MA
2 Somerset Street, Portland, ME
1425 Central Avenue, Albany, NY
250 7th Ave, New York, NY
270 Greenwich Street, New York, NY
0200305
0200306
12/27/2016 to 03/28/2017