According to Food Safety News, Vermont resident Veronica Friedman filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of her late husband Richard Friedman, alleging he suffered a massive stroke caused by a Listeriosis infection he procured from ingesting the recalled raw milk cheese last year.
“People think of food poisoning as inconvenient rather than really dangerous,” said William D. Marler of Seattle, who is an attorney for Ms. Friedman, as well as a nationally recognized expert on food safety. “But the reality is that what you eat can seriously damage or even kill you. Food providers have a responsibility to protect the lives of their customers, especially when producing raw milk products, which pose a higher risk to consumers.”
Between Sept. 1, 2016, and Jan. 22, 2017, the recalled raw milk cheese was linked to six hospitalizations and two deaths, with those sickened ranging in age from 55 to 89. The outbreak has been of particular concern to state and local public health officials, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which have been investigating the cheese recall since Jan. 31, 2017.
The CDC reports that symptoms of listeriosis include fever, diarrhea, chills, headache, muscle aches and various other gastrointestinal issues – all of which may last from a few days to a few weeks depending on the health of the individual. Those suffering from an impaired immune system, such as the elderly or small children, are at particular risk of contracting the potentially fatal illness.
Any Vulto Creamery consumer who experiences symptoms similar to that of listeriosis should seek medical attention immediately. Vulto Creamery has ceased production of its cheese until the company and the FDA finish investigating the source of the cheese recall.