State: Consumers should discard cheese from a CT cheesemaker

State Department of Agriculture officials are advising consumers, retail outlets and restaurants to discard any cheese purchased from an upstate Connecticut cheesemaker after Oct. 14, 2014.

On Jan. 22 all cheese in inventory at the Cornwall-based Butterfield Farm Co. was embargoed and the company was ordered to stop selling cheese after Agriculture Department inspectors learned that the company had no records of pasteurizing seven deliveries of raw milk made to its Hautboy Hill Road farm from Oct. 14 to Nov. 2.

Pasteurization uses heat to kill pathogens that may be present in raw milk. The Butterfield Farm Co. was licensed to manufacture cheese from pasteurized milk.

Unsure if raw milk was used

It is unclear from the records present during inspection whether any of the seven milk deliveries in question were used to produce cheese, but the department is notifying consumers out of an abundance of caution.

There have been no suspected illnesses reported. Anyone who believes they may have gotten ill from the cheese should notify their physician.

Stores, restaurants, farmers markets

Butterfield Farm products were sold or used in about 20 stores and restaurants in Connecticut, as well as at some farmers markets. They also were sold at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City and at the Pleasantville Market in Pleasantville, N.Y.

State agricultural inspectors recently visited several Connecticut stores that carried the product, and  found Butterfield cheese in only one of them.

Restaurants and retail markets may have received bulk packaged cheese from the Butterfield Farm Co. and repacked it in consumer-sized portions packaged for sale under the store’s label. The department is contacting all known commercial outlets for Butterfield products.

Federal officials notified

State Agriculture Department officials also have been in contact with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration about the matter.

Consumers with any questions should contact the state Department of Agriculture at 860-713-2508.

— as edited by Brad Durrell for the Shelton Herald