Washington State dairy warns consumers over E. coli in retail raw milk
Tenino, WA’s Cozy Vale Creamery is advising consumers to discontinue consumption of their retail raw milk and cream products with the best by dates of 3-1 through 3-9 and dispose of or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. These products, which were bottled in one gallon, half-gallon, quart, and pint containers, were sold to customers, including retail stores, in Western Washington.
The advisory was initiated after routine sampling conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) revealed the presence of toxin-producing E. coli in retail raw whole milk and cream dated 3-1 (March 1). Cozy Vale Creamery and WSDA continue to work jointly to address the source of the problem.
About E. coli infections
Anyone who has eaten any of the implicated products and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.
The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.
Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.
People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.
No other production dates are impacted by the notice.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloody stool. Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure but can take as long as nine days to appear. In some cases, the infection causes hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious disease in which red blood cells are destroyed resulting in kidney failure. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk.
Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediately contact a health care provider. At this time, there are no known illnesses associated with the recalled product.
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