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Published On: Wed, Feb 27th, 2013

Washington State officials warn of E. coli risk with Dungeness Valley Creamery raw milk

Washington agricultural officials are warning the public not to drink several raw milk products produced by Dungeness Valley Creamery of Sequim, WA due to potential E. coli risk, according to a Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) news release Feb. 26.

Agricultural Research Services

Agricultural Research Services

According to the WSDA, the following products may be affected: Dungeness Valley Creamery raw Jersey cream, raw Jersey whole milk and raw Jersey skim milk with any Best Buy dates of 03/02 or later.

The health alert includes all container sizes of the unpasteurized milk products.

The alert was instituted after  routine sampling by WSDA found toxin-producing E. coli in a sample of raw cream. The investiagtion is ongoing and to date, no one has become ill due to these products.

Dungeness Valley Creamery issued a recall of the affected products. Ryan and Sarah McCarthey, owners of the Sequim creamery issued a statement today concerning the WSDA notice:

Our products are routinely tested by the WSDA Microbiology Laboratory.  A batch of our Whole Raw Cream containing approximately 50 pint containers of the product was produced on Tuesday Feb. 19th, bearing an expiration date of 3/2.  On Friday February 22nd we were informed there was a “Cannot Rule Out” (CRO) result on this product for a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (not 0157H7).  We took immediate action and within the same day contacted nearly all retailers and consumers letting them know to discontinue use of this product until further notice and in either outcome, they would receive a full refund.  More importantly, there have been no reported illnesses at this time.

WSDA also took a sample of both our Whole and Skim Milk products, the skim coming from the same production ‘batch’ as the cream sample.  These products were not found to have any dangerous pathogens.  While we are not sure where the pathogen may have entered the Cream, we have discontinued production of our Cream product at this time.

Symptoms of the diseases caused by E.coli O157:H7 include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhea.  The infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is characterized by acuterenal failure, hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia. It is estimated that up to 10% of patients with E.coli infection may develop HUS, with a case-fatality rate ranging from 3% to 5%.

More about E.coli O157:H7

The WSDA release above lists the retail locations where Dungeness Valley Creamery products are sold.

The agency notes that retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington, but there are serious potential health risks. 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.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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