A regulated raw milk dairy in Washington State Tuesday recalled its raw fluid milk because it may be contaminated with dangerous Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli).

The recall came after the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) found raw milk at Jackie’s Jersey Milk was contaminated with shiga toxin-producing E. coli.  The dairy said it was fully cooperating with the WSDA in an investigation into the source of the problem.

Jackie’s Jersey Milk, located near Bellingham, WA, reports it had one piece of equipment that was not functioning correctly.

No illnesses have been associated with the recall.

Dairy farmers in Washington State may sell raw milk and consumers may purchase it, but only from WSDA-licensed operations.  Consumers are warned to read labels on raw milk containers and ask retailers to be sure it is produced and processed under state regulation.

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.

All Jackie’s Jersey Raw Jersey Cow Milk bearing a use-by date up to and including 3/04 has been recalled. The milk is sold only in half-gallon containers. Recalled raw milk was sold in retail grocery stores in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, and King Counties in Washington State.

Consumers who have purchased Jackie’s Jersey raw milk with a use-by date up to and including 3/04 are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company by email at wwjerseys@aol.com.