Following an extensive multi-state epidemiologic investigation involving both traditional “shoe leather” interviews and inspections and advanced molecular analysis, the Food and Drug Administration has identified soft cheese manufactured with raw milk as the source of an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection.
The extensive outbreak hospitalized six patients with two fatalities. The source of infection was Vulto Creamery in Walton, NY. The outbreak strain of Listeria was identified in the plant, from intact packaged product and corresponded to isolates from patients applying whole genome sequencing.
This outbreak is yet a further demonstration that raw milk should not be consumed or used for the manufacture of any dairy product. A second consideration is that FDA and CDC are using whole genome sequencing to positively establish the vehicle of infection and the plant of origin in food-borne outbreaks. This technique will definitively identify the flock of origin of an egg-borne infection should it occur.