37 are now reported ill in five states in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Bravo Farms gouda cheese.  Illnesses in the cheese E. coli outbreak have occurred in 5 states, with Arizona having most ill people at 19 cases.  California has 3, Colorado 10, New Mexico 3, and Nevada 2.  The outbreak has caused one case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no reported deaths.  We have filed suit on behalf of 3 individuals sickened in the outbreak; all are residents of Phoenix, Arizona.

Outbreak investigation status:

Laboratory testing conducted on two opened packages of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased at Costco from two different case patient’s homes has identified E. coli O157:H7 matching the outbreak strain. Preliminary laboratory testing conducted on a unopened (intact) package of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese obtained from a Costco retail location has identified E. coli O157:H7. Preliminary laboratory testing conducted on two additional opened packages of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased at Costco from two other case patient’s homes has indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Additional laboratory testing is currently ongoing to confirm these results.

FDA is working with its state partners to investigate Bravo Farms and to identify potential sources of contamination. FDA has collected product samples for testing.

Additional investigative activities are ongoing and include:

  • Conducting surveillance for additional illnesses that could be related to the outbreak.
  • Gathering and testing food products that are suspected as possible sources of infection to see if they are contaminated with bacteria.
  • Following epidemiologic leads gathered from interviews with patients, food purchase information, or from patterns of processing, production and/or distribution of suspected products.
  • Investigating where in the distribution chain the point of contamination could have occurred.

Costco is assisting the various state and federal health organizations investigating the outbreak.