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N.J. Cheesemaker Sentenced For Buying Tainted Milk

Lebanon Cheese Co. has been fined $200,000 for buying tainted milk destined for a landfill and making ricotta from it.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A New Jersey cheesemaker that made ricotta cheese from tainted milk has been fined $200,000 and put on four years of probation.

Lebanon Cheese Co. of Lebanon, N.J., and its president, Joseph G. Lotito, have been sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor shipping charge.

Lotito will pay a $10,000 fine and also serve four years of probation.

Federal authorities say the company bought tainted milk destined for a landfill from Landis Trucking Inc. of Lancaster. The trucking company has also pleaded guilty.

Defense lawyer William DeStefano says Lebanon Cheese and Lotito admit only their failure to test the milk for antibiotics. He says any antibiotics would have burned off during the cheesemaking process.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pease says there are no known reports of related illnesses.


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