Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wisconsin Dairy Recalls Cottage Cheese Due to Possible Under-Pasteurization

A Wisconsin dairy is recalling cottage cheese after the state tested and found alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme naturally present in raw milk that is used as a measure of pasteurization in that it should be eliminated if processed properly.  Since the enzyme was found to be present, this would mean that the milk used to make the cottage cheese was not properly pasteurized, and because of that, foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella could be present.  It seems the dairy tested the cottage cheese and found no pathogens.


In reading the notice posted on the FDA website, it is hard to determine what the issue is.  Going back to the Warning Notice published by WI Dept. of Ag, the issue is better detailed.

FDA Recall Notice
Westby Cooperative Creamery Issues a Voluntary Product Retrieval Notice on a Specific, Single Production Lot of Cottage Cheese Product
For Immediate Release
August 27, 2016

Consumers Pete Kondrup, General Manager
608-634-3181 ext. 120

View Product Photos

Westby Cooperative Creamery has issued a voluntary product retrieval notice on a specific, single lot of 4% cottage cheese; manufactured and packaged on August 17, distributed to retail stores, and possibly sold to consumers on or before August 26, 2016.

The product being retrieved is packaged in 16-ounce, 22-ounce, and 24-ounce containers; under the Westby, Food Club, Oberweis, and Shurfine brand names. The containers are marked with Lot Code 10-6-16 cc, and Plant #55-372. Approximately 700 cases of product (12 containers per case) were distributed within the state of Wisconsin and to a distribution center in Aurora, Illinois. What amount of product has been further delivered to retail stores, and possibly purchased by consumers, is being determined as part of this retrieval process. All customers have been notified of this voluntary product retrieval, and are fully cooperating.

On August 26, 2016, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WI-DATCP) issued a Consumer Advisory News Release for this specific lot of cottage cheese, manufactured by Westby Cooperative Creamery, based on routine testing of product samples by a state inspector.

No consumer illnesses have been reported related to the consumption of any cottage cheese products from this specific lot, and no other products produced by Westby Cooperative Creamery were included in this advisory news release.

Subsequent product/lot sample testing by Westby Cooperative Creamery, and further testing by an independent Certified Laboratory, have not detected the presence of any harmful pathogens. The management of Westby Cooperative Creamery has decided to issue this voluntary product retrieval as a precaution to nullify any potential concerns.

Westby Cooperative Creamery is one of the oldest cooperatives of family dairy farms in Wisconsin, and the USA, with over 200 member-owners. The milk supplied by these members, both conventional and organic, has increased to nearly 150-million pounds, annually. Product production at their manufacturing facility is approaching 30-million pounds of Cottage Cheeses, Sour Creams, Dairy Dips, Yogurts, Cheese Curds, and Hard Cheeses. The company employs 135 people.

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
DATCP issues consumer advisory for cottage cheese produced by Westby Cooperative Creamery
Release Date: August 26, 2016

Media Contacts: Raechelle Belli, 608-224-5005 or Bill Cosh, Communications Director, 608-224-5020

MADISON, Wisconsin –The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)—Division of Food and Recreational Safety is issuing a consumer alert for 4% cottage cheese made by Westby Cooperative Creamery located in Westby, Wisconsin. The presence of active alkaline phosphatase was discovered in samples during routine testing and may indicate that the product was not adequately pasteurized.

Alkaline phosphatase is an enzyme naturally present and active in raw milk that is not active in milk that has been sufficiently pasteurized. Raw milk can be contaminated by pathogenic bacteria like E. coli O157, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria. If these pathogens were present in the raw milk that was inadequately pasteurized, they may have survived and, if ingested, could cause illness. No illnesses have been reported related to consumption of this product and no other Westby Cooperative Creamery products are included in this advisory.

Nearly 700 cases of product were distributed statewide in Wisconsin and to Aurora, Illinois. Consumers should only be concerned with cottage cheese sold on or before August 26, 2016 in 16-, 22- and 24-ounce containers under the Westby, Food Club, Oberweis and Shurfine brand names. The containers will contain lot code 10-6-16 cc. Consumers in possession of this product should not consume it, but should return it to the place of purchase or discard it.

Symptoms of foodborne illness are diarrhea and/or vomiting, typically lasting 1-7 days. Other symptoms might include abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, joint/back aches and fatigue. If you have consumed this product and think you may be ill, contact your physician immediately. ​

For more information on other food product advisories or recalls, contact the Division of Food and Recreational Safety at 608-224-4700, by e-mail at; or online at

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