A Washington state dairy has resumed supplying retailers following the recall of unpasteurized milk found to be contaminated with toxin-producing E. coli bacteria.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Pride & Joy Creamery, located in Granger, in Eastern Washington’s Yakima Valley, was cleared to return its milk to retail stores after samples collected from a subsequent lot of bottled milk did not contain the E. coli bacteria that originally led to the recall.
The dairy made a few minor corrections to its physical facility and record-keeping system after the recall, WSDA said in a news release.
Meanwhile, the Washington State Department of Health continues to investigate E. coli illnesses involving four children in Western Washington, three of whom reportedly drank raw milk. Whether there was a connection between the E. coli infections and the creamery’s raw milk remains inconclusive. Tim Church, spokesman for the health department, said the E. coli strain that sickened the children did not match the E. coli bacteria found later in a batch of Pride & Joy’s unpasteurized milk.
All of the children were hospitalized and one remains in the hospital, according to Church.
Pride & Joy Creamery’s newly manufactured raw milk, which is distributed through nine Western Washington retail outlets in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Skagit counties, will have a date code of Oct. 2, 2011 or later.
The retail sale of raw milk is legal in Washington state. By law, the unpasteurized milk carries a warning label explaning the potential health risks associated with milk that has not been heat-treated to kill dangerous bacteria.