In the last several months, there have been at least four separate recalls involving cheeses produced nationally. Several, but not all of the following, involved raw milk-based cheeses; and several have resulted in lawsuits against the cheesemaker, either by the government or sick consumers.
In late August, inspectors with the Missouri Department of Agriculture halted production and distribution of all products from Morningland Dairy located in Mountain View, Missouri, after raw cheese from the dairy tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. Subsequent testing by a laboratory in St. Louis, MO on 14 samples of Morningland’s cheese showed that all were positive for Listeria or Staph. No illnesses have been reported as linked to the consumption of Morningland’s products.
Estrella Family Creamery:
On October 21, 2010, the US Government filed a complaint for forfeiture in rem (meaning, a legal action to seize and condemn violative products) of raw milk-based cheese products manufactured by Estrella Family Creamery in Montesano, Washington. The government’s complaint identifies Estrella cheese products as having the potential to be contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria that can cause severe illness in human beings, including death in unborn children, the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems. The government’s complaint was filed after Estrella declined to recall its cheese products, despite many of Estrella’s cheeses having tested positive for Listeria over the course of 2010.
Bravo Farms Gouda:
The CDC has issued an alert to consumers and health professionals about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. Thirty-seven persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states since mid-October. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (19), CA (3), CO (10), NM (3) and NV (2). There have been 15 reported hospitalizations, 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.
Marler Clark represents multiple victims of the Bravo Farms and Costco cheese E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. We have sued Bravo Farms on behalf of three Arizona residents.
The FDA and Colorado state health officials are warning consumers in Colorado who purchased Mauri Gorgonzola cheese with sell by dates January 13, 2011, and January 14, 2011, that the product has beenrecalled by the distributor, DPI Specialty Foods of Tualatin, Ore., because E. coli O157:H7 was found in an unopened package tested at the state health department’s laboratory. In contrast to Bravo Farms Gouda and the Morningland and Estrella cheeses, Mauri Gorgonzola is made from pasteurized milk.
The cheese was distributed only to Costco stores in Colorado. Mauri Gorgonzola cheese is packaged in clear plastic in approximately 1 lb. wedges. The recalled cheese can be identified by the following information contained on a white sticker on the package: "DISTRIBUTED BY DPI Specialty Foods Tualatin, OR, ITALY 34449" with sell by dates of "01/13/11" or "01/14/11." The Costco item number is 34449.