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Attorney General's News Release

October 22, 2010

Attorney General Koster seeks injunction against Howell County dairy

Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster said today he is asking the Howell County Circuit Court to require Morningland Dairy, located in Mountain View, to destroy contaminated cheese products that were produced at the facility between January 1 and August 26, 2010.

Morningland Dairy makes cheese products and sells them nationwide. The state of California notified the Missouri State Milk Board in August that samples of Morningland Dairy’s cheese products tested positive for the bacterial pathogens Listeria Monocytogenes and Staphylococcus Aureus. The company voluntarily recalled all of the cheese it produced from January 1 through August 26.

After the recall, Morningland Dairy, under the supervision of the State Milk Board, sent 14 samples of Morningland Dairy’s cheese to a St. Louis laboratory to be tested. All 14 samples tested positive for Staphylococcus Aureus and 6 of the samples tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes. The State Milk Board on October 1 condemned all cheese products the company manufactured between January 1 and August 26 and ordered that they be destroyed. Morningland Dairy refused to destroy the condemned cheese.

“Testing in California and Missouri confirms that the cheese produced during the January 1 to August 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 said he is asking the court to issue a preliminary and permanent injunction ordering Morningland to destroy the condemned cheese and prohibiting the company from any further violations of the Missouri Dairy Law. Koster is also asking the court to require Morningland to follow established State Milk Board regulations for the production of cheese products and to pay the costs of the court proceedings.

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