Washington Dairy Recalls Raw Milk For Possible E. Coli

A Washington state dairy, Frisia Dairy and Creamery of Tenino, Washington, has recalled its raw milk over E. coli contamination concerns.

The unpasteurized milk products—whole, skim, and cream milk—were sold in pint, half-gallon, and gallon containers, said MyFoxSpokane. The recalled products were produced and sold in the dairy and distributed through eight retail outlets in Lewis, Thurston, and Pierce counties. The dairy is located at 4800 Skookumchuck Road SE, in Tenino. To date, no illnesses have been reported; however, it can take some time from purchase to consumption to illness for symptoms to manifest.

The recall was initiated by Frisia Dairy following a routine, monthly sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in which E. coli was discovered in a skim milk sample, said MyFoxSpokane. E. coli was not found in any other of the dairy’s samples and the pathogen has never previously been found there; both the dairy and the WSDA continue to investigate the contamination. The Frisia Dairy and Creamery product recall involves the following locations in Washington State. The firm is advising consumers who purchased any of the recalled raw milk products to return them for a full refund. Frisia Dairy and Creamery can be reached at 1.360.264.8668:

Olympia Food Co-op: 3111 Pacific Avenue, Olympia
Yelm Co-Op: 404 First Street, Yelm,
Mt. Community Co-Op: 105 Carter Street, Eatonville
Shop-N-Kart: 2100 North National Avenue, Chehalis
Olympia Food Co-Op: 921 Rogers, Olympia
Olympia Local Foods: 2442 Mottman Road SW, Tumwater
Baily’s IGA: 10333 Highway 12 SW, Rochester
Tenino IGA: 669 Lincoln Avenue, Tenino

Of note, we wrote in September that Pride & Joy Creamery, LLC of Granger, Washington, also recalled raw fluid milk over concerns about E. coli contamination.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raw milk is unpasteurized milk from hoofed mammals. While it is legal to sell raw milk in Washington, it is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption in 22 states and the FDA bans sales of raw milk across state lines.

Consuming foods with less processing may appear to present a healthier choice; however, dangers exist when consuming unpasteurized milk and milk products, say the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Pasteurization briefly heats milk at high temperatures killing most food borne bacteria and is the only method used in the U.S., and considered by the FDA as the most reliable method.

For decades, public health authorities, including the FDA and CDC, have expressed concerns about the hazards of drinking raw milk. Since 1987, the FDA has required milk packaged for human consumption to be pasteurized before being introduced into interstate commerce. The CDC also notes that raw milk or raw milk products were implicated in 85 outbreaks that resulted in over 1,000 illnesses and two deaths in the U.S. during 1998-2005. Since all food borne illnesses are not recognized and reported, the actual number associated with raw milk is probably greater.

E. coli are a group of bacteria found in animal intestines and feces. While some strains are necessary for digestion; some are harmful, deadly, and toxin producing and part of a group of E. coli called Verocytotoxigenic E. coli, or VTECs, also known as Shiga-producing E. coli, which may cause severe diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloody stool; in the most severe cases, this infection can lead to kidney failure and death. Symptoms generally appear three to four days after exposure, but can take as long as nine days to manifest. The infection sometimes causes hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), 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.

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