Schoonover Farms LLC of Odessa, WA, is recalling retail raw whole milk and cream after a test showed E. coli.

“The recall 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 12-23 (December 23). Schoonover Farms LLC and WSDA continue to work jointly to address the source of the problem,” according to the recall notice from the company. 

There is concern that some consumers may still have unused portions of the unpasteurized, raw milk and cream affected by the recall.

Schoonover Farms LLC retail raw whole milk and cream displaying Best By dates of “12-23” through “1-2” (Dec. 23, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022 have been recalled. The recalled product was bottled in 8-ounce, quart, half-gallon, and one- gallon containers and was sold to local consumers in Odessa, WA, as well as retail stores in the Spokane, WA area. 

Consumers who have purchased Schoonover Farms LLC retail raw whole milk and cream with Best By dates of 12-23 through 1-2 are urged by the company not to drink the product and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 509-988-0538, according to the recall notice. 

Retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington State, but the potential health risks are serious, the company recall states. 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.

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 a 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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