The Estrella name is well-known for the renowned artisan cheeses from farmer Kelli Estrella's 36 cows and 40 goats. It has also become well-known after appearing in several news stories lately, like the one from The New York Times, after dangerous bacteria was found in some of her cheeses.
No illnesses have been linked to the cheese, but tests found listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria, that is especially dangerous for the very young, very old, and pregnant women.
The Food and Drug Administration moved to shut down the Estrella Family Creamery in Washington last month.
"The level of risk is far less with the little guy than it is with the big guy," said Montana Senator Jon Tester in defense of the Estrella Family Creamery.
William Marler, a Seattle food safety lawyer, doesn't understand the negative attitude from many Estrella supporters toward the F.D.A. "I just don't know how they make the leap from the government trying to do the right thing for public health to 'they're food Nazis in the pocket of big agribusiness.'"
Kelli Estrella plans to fight back in court, according to what she told The New York Times.
"I don't think this issue is about bacteria and it's not about cheese," she said. "I think that we're losing our freedom."