Cozy Vale Creamery of Tenino, WA, is advising consumers to throw out or return any of the dairy’s retail raw milk and cream products with the best by dates of Dec. 12-14 through 12-23 because state tests showed E. coli contamination.
The unpasteurized dairy products were bottled in a gallon, half-gallon, quart, and pint containers, were sold to customers, including retail stores, in Western Washington. The dairy had pathogen problems at least twice in 2017.
“The advisory was initiated after routine sampling conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) revealed the presence of toxin-producing E. coli in retail raw cream dated Dec. 14. The pathogen was not detected in raw skim and whole milk products, however, all products were processed from the same milk. Cozy Vale Creamery and WSDA continue to work jointly to address the source of the problem,” according to a statement from operators of Cozy Vale Creamery.
Consumers with questions may contact the company at 360-481-4010. As of the company’s posting of the alert no known illnesses had been linked to the unpasteurized, raw milk.
About E. coli infections
Anyone who has consumed any of the implicated products and developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.
The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.
Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.
People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.
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