The CDC is reporting that the Vulto Listeria Outbreak includes at least 6 confirmed cases of Listeria in Connecticut, Florida, New York and Vermont, ranging in age from newborn to 89 years of age. The first illness was identified in September, 2016, with the most recent victim identified this year. In many Listeria outbreaks, the vast majority of victims are never identified. All six victims in the Vulto Listeria Outbreak have been hospitalized. So far, there have been two fatalities. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 89, with a median age of 55.
The trace-back investigation has relied upon the reports from victims as to what they have eaten lately as well as tests performed on remaining cheeses found in a victim’s home and unopened packages found at retailers who sold Vulto Creamery cheeses. The Connecticut Department of Public Health was the first to identify the source. The primary suspect, and the first cheese subject to the Vulto Listeria Outbreak recall, is Ouleout soft cheese. According to the Connecticut Department of Public Health, the Vulto Creamery cheese they tested contained the outbreak strain.
The FDA then tested unopened packages of Vulto Creamery Ouleout cheese, collected on March 3, 2017 – the positive test results led t a Vulto Creamery recall four days later. The recall was expanded to include Miranda (named after Jos Vulto’s late wife), Heinennelli, and Willowemoc cheeses. Thereafter, additional testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets also found the outbreak strain of Listeria in cheese produced by Vulto Creamery.
As of this month, all Ouleout, Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, Heinennellie, Miranda, Walton Umber and Willowemoc cheeses produced by Vulto Creamery are subject to the nation-wide recall affecting, primarily, the greater Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, as well as California, Chicago, Portland, Oregon, and Washington, DC.
Special Notice to Restaurants Concerning the Vulto Listeria Outbreak
The FDA and CDC are warning restaurants and retail establishments to be especially careful in assuring that they neither serve nor sell any of the Vulto Creamery Ouleout, Andes, Blue Blais, Hamden, Heinennellie, Miranda, Walton Umber and Willowemoc cheeses. They are being asked to inquire about the source of any of their cheese products if they do not know.
Restaurants and retail establishments have also be warned of the need to both wash and sanitize refrigerators, cutting boards, service stations, utensils, and display cases where these contaminated products were handled, held or used. Cross-contamination of these locations and items can lead to the proliferation of Listeria in the work environment and lead to further illnesses, injury and possibly death. For additional information about the Vulto Listeria Outbreak, or to speak to a Listeria lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.