Government wants cheese plant closed

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Published: July 7, 2009 at 11:43 PM

NEW YORK, July 7 (UPI) -- Federal authorities say they have gone to court to stop a New York cheese company from making and distributing its products, alleging contamination problems.

The U.S. Justice Department, acting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court alleging Peregrina Cheese Inc. has a history of operating under insanitary conditions. The government alleges cheese produced by Peregrina is contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a Justice Department release Tuesday said.

Listeria is a food-borne pathogen. It can cause serious illness and has been known to cause death in young children and those who are frail or elderly.

The release alleges FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes within the factory and in finished cheese products on numerous occasions since 2004. It also contends New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets conducted laboratory testing which found Listeria in Peregrina products.


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