June 29, 2016 – Iowa-based Maytag Dairy Farms remains closed and is not expected to resume operations until at least fall in the wake of six recalls earlier this year after Listeria monocytogenes was detected in its blue cheese.
The Newton, IA, company issued the initial three recalls Feb. 13, 18 and 26, followed by recalls from three retailers — Whole Foods Markets, Hy-Vee and Schnucks — in late February and early March.
Following Maytag’s second expanded recall Feb. 26 the company stopped production and shipping activities. The recalls cover cheese produced from Nov. 20, 2015, through early this year.
All of the recall notices on the Food and Drug Administration website indicated no illnesses had been confirmed in connection with the recalled cheese, as of the dates they were posted. The recalled blue cheese went to retailers and restaurants nationwide.
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Officials with the family owned Maytag Dairy Farms have not responded to requests for comment. The company website carries a one-sentence status report at the bottom of its home page: “The Maytag Dairy Farm is closed while we continue work upgrading our facilities.”
The local newspaper, the Newton Daily News, reported a statement from Maytag officials earlier this week that shed little light on activities at the operation.
“An email statement from the Newton company, sent to the Newton Daily News late last week, did not give a timeline for when the dairy will begin production and resume sales. It will likely be the early fall before it can discuss the improvements it is making to ensure safety in its process, the company said,” the newspaper reported.
“The Maytag family will be happy to meet with you at some point in the future to discuss their vision for the future of Maytag Dairy Farms. But we ask that this meeting wait until we have completed the renovations taking place now. Perhaps we can arrange this meeting in the fall.”
In the initial Feb. 13 recall notice, Maytag officials said the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Dairy Products Control Bureau discovered the possible contamination during routine testing.
Following Maytag’s second expanded recall Feb. 26 the company stopped production and shipping activities.