Three E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Washington state have been linked to unpasteurized milk products from a licensed Grade A raw milk dairy in Tenino.
The Cozy Vale Creamery on Wednesday recalled products with sell-by dates of Dec. 6 or earlier because they may be contaminated with pathogenic E. coli. The creamery’s whole and skim milk and cream are distributed through seven retail outlets in Pierce, Thurston and King counties in Western Washington.
Three people infected since August with the identical strain of E. coli O157:H7, as confirmed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), had consumed Cozy Vale products, according to Washington State Department of Agriculture officials. Testing conducted by the agriculture department revealed E. coli O157:H7 contamination in the milking parlor and processing areas. The creamery and ag department are investigating the source of the problem.
The company said buyers may return the suspect milk products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
The products were sold at the farm store and at Marlene’s Market in Tacoma, two Olympia Food Co-Op locations in Olympia, Olympia Local Foods in Tumwater, Yelm Co-op in Yelm, Mt. Community Co-op in Eatonville and Marlene’s Market in Federal Way.
According to the dairy’s website, the 76-acre, family-owned farm produces a variety of agricultural products including, grade A raw cows milk and grass-fed angus steer and katahdin lamb meats.