For the second time this month unpasteurized raw milk is being pulled from retail dairy cases in Washington because of E. coli contamination. This time it’s Cozy Vale Creamery of Tenino, WA.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture inspectors discovered the contamination in a sample of the dairy’s raw milk and is working with the dairy owners to determine the source of the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, according to the recall notice.
Although the implicated raw milk is being removed from retail stores, there is concern consumers may have the milk in their homes because it is not yet out of date.
The recall covers all Cozy Vale (Valley) Creamery raw milk in quart, half-gallon and gallon plastic jugs with best-by dates of Feb. 27 through March 4. It was sold at the on-farm store, one drop off location, and several retail stores throughout Western Washington.
Anyone who has consumed any of the recalled milk and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria. As of the posting of the recall notice on Tuesday, no confirmed illnesses had been linked to the Cozy Vale Creamery unpasteurized raw milk.
“Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloody stool,” according to the recall notice. “Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure, but can take as long as nine days to appear.
“The infection sometimes causes hemolytic uremic syndrome, (HUS) 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.”
Consumers who have the recalled milk in their homes are urged not to drink it and to return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
“Retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington State, but the potential health risks are serious. 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,” according to the recall notice.
This week’s recall is not the first for Cozy Vale Creamery. In 2011 the dairy recalled its unpasteurized raw milk after inspectors found E. coli contamination.
Earlier this month the Pride & Joy Dairy based in Granger, WA, recalled its raw milk, also because of E. coli contamination found by the state agriculture department. For details on the status of that ongoing recall and the operational status of Pride & Joy Dairy, please click here.
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