The Country Market of Medical Lake, WA is recalling raw fluid milk because it may be contaminated with Escherichia coli bacteria (E. coli) that can cause serious illness.

The recall was initiated after routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) discovered that the product was contaminated with toxin-producing E. coli. The Country Market and WSDA are continuing their investigation into the source of the problem. Currently, no known human illnesses are associated with this product.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloody stool. Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure, but can take as long as nine days to appear. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a health care provider.

The infection sometimes causes hemolytic uremic syndrome, 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.

The Country Market Raw Cow Milk bearing expiration dates of 2-4-11 through 2-11-11 has been recalled. The milk is sold only in ½ gallon containers. Recalled raw milk was sold from The Country Market on-farm store located at 14211 North Thorpe Road, Medical Lake, Washington and from the Fresh Abundance store located at 2015 North Division Street Ste 1, Spokane, Washington.

Consumers who have purchased The Country Market raw milk with expiration dates 2-4-11 through 2-11-11 are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 509-499-3739.

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.