Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bravo Farms Expands Cheese Recall As More Pathogens Found

California finds both E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes

Bravo Farms (Traver, CA) has expanded its previous recall of Dutch Style Gouda to include all Bravo Farms cheeses. The recalled cheeses – including Gouda, Pepper Jack, Tulare Cannonball and several types of Cheddar – were sold at retail stores throughout the USA, mainly on the west coast.

Some of the recalled cheese was sold in Costco stores in the San Diego region, and some was sold in Whole Foods Markets in Arizona, California, Nevada, Washington and Oregon.

Earlier this month, Bravo Farms Dutch-Style raw milk Gouda cheese was linked to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in five states. As of today, CDC reports a total of 38 confirmed illnesses in Arizona (19), California (3), Colorado (11), New Mexico (3) and Nevada (2). Fifteen people have been hospitalized, and one person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Fortunately, there have been no deaths.

All of the confirmed illnesses developed between October 16th and October 27th. There have been no new cases confirmed with an onset date later than October 27th.

On November 16th, the New Mexico Department of Health confirmed the presence of the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 in an intact package of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased from a Costco retail location. The same strain of E. coli O157:H7 also was recovered from two previously opened packages of the company's Gouda cheese, retrieved from the homes of two different case patients.

The expanded recall was the result of a report that the California Department of Food and Agriculture had found both E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in samples of cheese during its follow-up investigation of Bravo Farms. California and FDA are working together on the follow-up. No cases of either E. coli O157:H7 or Listeria monocytogenes infections have been linked to any of the cheeses included in yesterday's recall notice.

Bravo Farms is asking consumers to discard the recalled cheeses or return the products to the place of purchase. Customers with questions can contact Bravo Farms at 559-897-4634.

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