November 2, 2012 at 7:50 PM
Feds bar Estrella from interstate cheese sales
Artisan cheesemaker Estrella Family Creamery, in Montesano, Grays Harbor County, has been barred from selling products in interstate commerce until it takes comprehensive steps to eliminate a pathogen from its facilities and takes critical food-safety measures, according to a federal court order announced Friday.
The permanent injunction was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin H. Settle, who also ordered the owners to pay the costs incurred by the government when it seized the company’s cheese inventory in October 2010, after owners refused to initiate a recall.
According to an FDA affidavit, samples of cheese and cheese ingredients on three earlier dates revealed the presence of Listeria Monocytogenes (L. mono), a bacteria found in animal feces that can be life threatening for pregnant women, elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.
After the cheeses were seized in 2010, Estrella told the government that it had fed the seized cheese to pigs on its farm, in violation of the court’s warrant, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
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