Jos Vulto, a New York-based Dutch artist, is the the founder of Vulto Creamery, which meakes trendy cheeses out of raw milk.
“[Vulto] had been making cheese in his apartment for about five years, aging it under the Brooklyn sidewalk," according to the company's website. "He had never set out to become a cheese maker but after half a year of experimenting and favorable reception of some of his creations, he started to explore the possibility of starting a creamery.”
That was five years ago. Now six people have come down with listeria after eating their soft raw-milk cheeses, and two of them have died.
"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," reported the Centers for Disease Control.
Vulto Creamery, based in Walton, New York, has since recalled their Ouleout, Miranda, Heinennellie, Willowemoc, Hamden, Walton Umber, Andes, and Blue Blais cheeses.
Advocates of raw milk claim it helps the immune system and contributes to gut health. Federal law prohibits the interstate sale of raw milk with the exception of properly labeld cheese. Laws regarding the sale of raw milk vary from state to state.
"However, raw milk and products made from it (including soft cheese, ice cream, and yogurt) can pose severe health risks, including death," notes the CDC. "That’s because raw milk has not undergone a process called pasteurization that kills disease-causing germs, such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella."