Two people have died and four more have fallen ill following an outbreak of listeria linked to recalled cheese in several eastern US states. Officials say it was probably caused by a soft raw milk cheese called Ouleout from Vulto Creamery in New York State. The cheese was stocked by a Whole Foods shop in Fairfield, Connecticut, and may also have been available in specialized cheese shops. The creamery recalled several soft cheeses on Tuesday. Six cases of listeria have been recorded in Connecticut and Vermont, where the deaths occurred, as well as in New York and Florida.  The people infected range in age from less than a year to 89, and five of them are female, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. All six were taken to hospital and the identity of those who died has not been released. Listeria bacteria can occur in raw milk and foods made with it, and can survive refrigeration. The bacteria are killed by cooking and pasteurisation. Vulto Creamery said it was working on recalling the affected cheese.The company says it makes small batches of handmade cheese using raw milk from local dairy farmers. Its founder started out by making cheese in his apartment in Brooklyn. Vulto describes the Ouleout cheese as a “semi-soft washed rind cheese” made from unpasteurised milk that tastes “pungent and meaty”. Raw milk is milk from cows, goats, sheep or other, animals that has not been pasteurised – the process of heating the milk to a specific temperature for a specific period of time to kill bacteria. Some consumers say raw milk has more flavour and makes better cheese. Others choose unpasteurised milk as part of a broader shift away from processed foods, which are increasingly seen as unhealthy.

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