Since January 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes. The foodborne outbreak linked to Vulto Creamery products has so far caused six people to fall ill across four states, leading to two fatalities. Originally Vulto’s Ouleout cheese appeared to be the issue. However, the company expanded its voluntary recall on March 10 to include all of its products on the market, including Hamden, Heinennellie, Miranda, Walton Umber, Willowemoc, Andes, and Blue Blais. These cheeses have been distributed across the U.S., including in California.
What is Listeria?
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that causes serious illness in individuals and can even lead to death. Fatalities are most common in young children, the elderly, and individuals with previously compromised immune systems. Elderly individuals often develop sepsis, meningitis, or encephalitis from listeriosis. It is particularly an issue for pregnant women. This bacterial infection can lead to miscarriage, premature labor, still birth, and illness or death of a newborn. According to the CDC, listeriosis causes fetal loss in about 20% of cases and newborn death in about 3% of infections.