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Exec, 2 firms plead guilty to mislabeling cheese

PITTSBURGH -- A woman and two western Pennsylvania cheese firms her family controls have pleaded guilty to mislabeling grated parmesan and romano that contained only other cheeses and filler made from wood pulp.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh didn't immediately set a sentencing date for 44-year-old Michelle Myrter and her Slippery Rock companies, International Packing and Universal Cheese and Drying.

Under the plea, each company will forfeit $500,000 and, according to her attorney, she's likely to receive probation.

Myrter was charged with aiding and abetting the introduction of misbranded and adulterated food into interstate commerce. The law holds a company official responsible whether or not they knew about the wrongdoing.

The FDA says the cheese was sold through Target stores and 3,400 stores supplied by Associated Wholesale Grocers of Kansas City, Kansas.

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