6 Victims in 4 States: Vulto Creamery Listeria Outbreak Continues to Grow after Connecticut and Vermont Victims Die
Listeria is a highly dangerous bacteria that is often found in unpasteurized milk products, including soft cheeses. There are even instances in which Listeria has been found in soft cheeses that are made with pasteurized milk. In this outbreak, the carrier is Vulto Creamery soft wash-rind cheeses, including Heinennellie, Miranda (named for Jos Vulto’s late wife), Willowemoc, Ouleout (the cheese initially identified as the carrier), Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, and Walton Umber. The victims have been in Florida, New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. The recall associated with this outbreak was issued on March 10, 2017.
The Vulto Creamery Listeria Outbreak: September 1, 2016 to January 22, 2017
According to the CDC, first person to become ill appears to have become symptomatic in September of 2016, on or about the 1st of the month. The second victims became sick on or about September 24th. The third victims became symptomatic on or about October 13th. The remaining three victims consumed the Vulto cheeses in late 2016 or early 2017, becoming symptomatic on or about January 4th, 6th and 24th. These six are likely a small subset of those who acquired listeria – many will not have sought medical treatment or having sought it will not be tested prior to administration of antibiotics, and likely never be counted in the official numbers of victims. In addition, persons who consumed the tainted cheese after mid-February and were thereafter found to have acquired Listeria are unlikely to have yet been counted by the CDC due to reporting lags between initial laboratory testing and CDC reporting.
All Victims in the Vulto Creamery Listeria Outbreak Sickened in Northeast
Three of the victims are residents of New York, where Jos Vulto started his creamery and where he continues to process cheese. It is also where he acquires the milk he uses form Jersey Cows at a local dairy. The other victims were identified in Connecticut, Vermont and Florida. Vulto Creamery distributed and sold its cheeses widely in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, California, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, D.C, but so far all of the victims were sickened in the Northeast – the Florida victim reports eating the cheese while visiting New York.