Parmesan cheese can’t catch a break. Not only does your packaged parmesan cheese contain wood pulp, but you may have ingested listeria bacteria as well.
An FDA report shows 10 counts of listeria pathogens found in Castle Cheese production facilities, one of several cheese companies named in a fraud lawsuit for mislabeled parmesan. Castle Cheese went bankrupt in 2014 and is no longer on the market, but company executive Michelle Myrter faces hefty fines and jail time for her deeds.
Castle Cheese was inspected in late 2012 by the FDA, which resulted in charges of adulterated food and misbranded food, as well as a letter of warning from the FDA in 2013. Inspectors noted that the cheese was not stored at the proper temperature on premises, which likely led to the accumulation of bacteria. FDA inspectors also concluded that the product sold was not even close to “100 Percent Real Parmesan.”
“The product that they were marketing and which was on the label was not what they were selling," U.S. attorney David Hickton told CBS News. “Advertising it as Parmesan and Romano and putting in something else so the supplier could make more money, that's just clearly fraud on the consumer.”
Castle Cheese could be found on shelves at Walmart and Target but is no longer available
Thus far, no health and safety information is available for Universal Cheese & Drying, Inc. and International Packing LLC, the other two companies named in the lawsuit.