According to the Columbia Basin Herald, Odessa’s Schoonover Farms LLC on Thursday voluntarily recalled raw whole milk and cream because it might be contaminated with E. coli (Escherichia coli bacteria), according to a release from the company.
No known illnesses caused by E. coli were associated with the product as of Thursday, but routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture showed the presence of toxin-producing E. coli in retail raw cream dated Dec. 23.
So retail raw whole milk and cream with best by dates of Dec. 23 through Jan. 2 (“12-23” through “1-2”) were recalled. The product is in 8-ounce, quart, half-gallon and 1-gallon bottle containers and sold to consumers in Odessa and stores in the Spokane area.
Those who bought the product are urged not to drink it and return it to the place of purchase for a refund. Those with questions can contact the company at 509-988-0538 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Schoonover Farms and the WSDA are working to address the source of the issue, the release stated.
“Retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington state, but the potential health risks are serious,” the release stated. “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.”
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can cause stomach cramps, severe diarrhea and bloody stool. Symptoms can appear three or four days after exposure, but may take up to nine days to appear. Some infections cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a serious disease where red blood cells are destroyed, which results in kidney failure. Those most at-risk include infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Anyone with symptoms should contact a health care provider.