Cheese a danger, Koster says

by Keith Loria |
Oct. 25, 2010, 4:45pm


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced on Friday that he is seeking a court order against a dairy to destroy contaminated cheese products.

Morningland Dairy products produced this year at the company's Mountain View facility tested positive for the bacterial pathogens Listeria Monocytogenes and Staphylococcus Aureus. Although the company voluntarily recalled all of these products, the products remain in the company's warehouse and it refuses to destroy them.

Under the supervision of the State Milk Board, the dairy sent 14 samples of cheese to a St. Louis laboratory. All of the products tested positive for Staphylococcus Aureus and six of the samples tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes.

On Oct. 1, the State Milk Board condemned all cheese products the company manufactured between Jan. 1-Aug. 26 and ordered that they be destroyed.

"Testing in California and Missouri confirms that the cheese produced during the Jan. 1-Aug. 26 timeframe is contaminated with dangerous pathogens," Koster said.

"The safety of Missouri consumers is paramount. Because this company refuses to destroy the contaminated product we are asking the court to order them to do so."

Koster is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions ordering Morningland to destroy the condemned cheese and prohibiting the company from engaging in any further violations of the Missouri Dairy Law.

He has also requested that Morningland be required to follow established State Milk Board regulations for the production of cheese products and pay all litigation costs.

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