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E. coli Prompts Recall of Raw Milk in Washington

A farm near Spokane in Washington state is recalling its raw milk because it may be contaminated with toxin-producing E. coli.

The Country Market of Medical Lake said routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) discovered that the product was contaminated with E. coli.  According to a news release, The Country Market and WSDA are continuing their investigation into the source of the problem.

No illnesses have been reported.

The Country Market Raw Cow Milk being recalled has expiration dates of 2-4-11 through 2-11-11 and is sold only in ½ gallon containers.  The unpasteurized milk was sold from The Country Market on-farm store located at 14211 North Thorpe Road, Medical Lake, WA and from the Fresh Abundance store located at 2015 North Division Street Ste 1, Spokane, WA. 

Consumers are urged to return the milk to the place of purchase for a full refund. Contact the company at 509-499-3739 if you have questions.

Retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington, but the Department of Agriculture advises that there are serious potential health risks. Consumers should read the warning label on the retail raw milk container carefully and ask their retailer to verify the milk was produced and processed by a WSDA-licensed operation.

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. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care provider.

The infection sometimes causes hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious disease in which red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. Infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk. 

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