10 Sickened by E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Milk Cheese

Officials say 10 people have been sickened and four hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported
10 Sickened by E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Milk Cheese
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TUESDAY, Feb. 20, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- An Escherichia coli outbreak has been tied to Raw Farm brand raw cheddar cheese, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a food safety alert.

Six of the patients remembered which type of raw cheese they ate, and all reported consuming the Raw Farm cheddar. Gene sequencing of E. coli bacteria found in the tainted products also showed they are all closely related, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

No deaths have been reported. One patient developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Of the 10 reported infections (four resulting in hospitalization), four occurred in California, three in Colorado, one in Texas, and two in Utah, officials said.

Raw Farm has agreed to recall certain lots of its raw cheddar cheese, the FDA and CDC said. These lots include block and shredded cheese in original flavor and jalapeno flavor. Patients remember buying the cheese at Sprouts Farmers Market and Bristol Farms, but there may be other retailers selling tainted Raw Farms products, the FDA said in a recall announcement.

The FDA recommends checking refrigerators and freezers for Raw Farms raw cheddar cheese and throwing it all out. Carefully clean or sanitize any surfaces or containers that the cheese touched.

Raw milk cheese is made from milk that has not been pasteurized, the CDC explained. All raw milk and raw milk products are risky, the agency warned. Raw milk can become contaminated by animal feces or skin or from germs present in the barn or milking equipment. Without pasteurization, those germs can make their way to consumers.

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