It is good that Lynn Terry, from the Oregonian, is back from vacation and that Bill Keene, Oregon Epidemiologist does not take them.
In the past few weeks, scientific sleuths in Portland Oregon helped solve a mysterious outbreak of E. coli in a multi-state investigation that involved a wedding in Washington state, dumpster diving in Yamhill County and cheese samples at a gourmet store in Seattle. Eventually, eight sick would be counted – Oregon (2), Washington (3), Minnesota (2) and Vermont (1).
- Two weeks ago, Keene found two cases of E. coli O157 in Roseburg, Oregon. One at Clarklewis Restaurant and ordered the artisan cheese plate which included Sally Jackson cheese.
- An E. coli case in Vancouver, Washington who also at Clarklewis Restaurant and ordered the artisan cheese plate which included Sally Jackson cheese.
- A Washington ill woman who had shopped at Calf & Kid, an artisan cheese store in Seattle. The shop’s website mentioned Sally Jackson cheese.
- The Vermont case was a man who had visited his uncle in Seattle and eaten at Palace Kitchen, a high-end restaurant that served Sally Jackson cheese.
- Another ill man in Seattle who had attended a wedding in Tonasket, Washington – just south of Oroville. The wedding featured local cheese – probably from Sally Jackson.
- In the Twin Cities, Minnesota two people in late September and early November were sickened with E. coli O157:H7 after eating artisanal cheese. The victims, one of whom was hospitalized for a day, had E. coli strains that were genetically indistinguishable to those in the Oregon, Washington and Vermont.
- Keene sought Sally Jackson cheese from Oregon restaurants to test for E. coli. Tina’s Restaurant in Dundee had thrown some away. The owner retrieved it by diving into her Dumpster. In the end, at least two samples of Sally Jackson’s cheese tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, confirming it was the source of the outbreak that sickened eight.
The FDA Inspection report – "More Bad News for Raw Milk Cheese Makers – FDA Inspection Report of Sally Jackson" – As well as those by the State of Washington – "Sally Jackson Raw Milk Cheese Distribution List for E. coli Recall – Eight Ill in Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Minnesota" – showed and ongoing risk of bacterial contamination.