Politics & Government

Feds seize raw milk cheese from creamery

Federal authorities say they've seized all the cheese from a creamery in Montesano after the company refused to recall items contaminated with listeria.

Prosecutors announced Monday that U.S. marshals seized the cheese last week from the Estrella Family Creamery.

The creamery makes its cheeses with raw milk from cows that graze on its organically maintained pastures. It sells them at farmers markets around Western Washington.

Authorities say tests by the Washington State Department of Agriculture early this year came back positive for listeria, a pathogen that can be fatal to the elderly, young children or people with compromised immune systems.

The creamery recalled several cheeses in the spring. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted follow-up tests in August and found that the bacteria remained, but the creamery refused to recall all of its cheeses.

The company says the seizure could put it out of business.