Major Cheesemaker Recalls Products After Two Listeria-Related Deaths

Ouleout cheese — a popular soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery in Walton, New York — is being recalled after a dangerous outbreak of listeria hospitalized six and resulted in two deaths. The producers of the cheese, which is distributed nationally, are being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration to determine the cause of the outbreak of bacteria.

"Six people infected with the outbreak strain of listeria have been reported from four states since September 1, 2016," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. "All six people were hospitalized, and two people from Connecticut and Vermont died. One illness was reported in a newborn. Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that soft raw milk cheese made by Vulto Creamery of Walton, New York, is the likely source of this outbreak."

Unpasteurized cheese is particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, as the pasteurization process kills most bacteria, including listeria. Listeria infections are not usually fatal, but can be deadly in small children, the weak or sickly, and the elderly.

The cheeses were mostly sold to supermarkets in Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States; California; Chicago; Portland, Oregon; and the District of Columbia. Although only one type of Vulto cheese was recalled, the CDC is urging consumers to refrain from buying any soft cheese from Vulto at this time.