BC E-coli case tied to raw milk cheese

From Randy Shore, at the Vancouver Sun:

“With one person dead and 10 ill, others who ate cheese from an artisan dairy in Salmon Arm are nervous.

While investigators try to pin down the cause of a fatal E. coli outbreak at the dairy, Iain Ilich is wondering whether he, his wife and 13-month-old daughter are going to fall ill.

Ilich purchased several cheeses at Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm while travelling through the Interior about a month ago.

“I’ve got some smoked Gouda, peppercorn Gouda and Gouda with cumin seed in the fridge,” said Ilich, a communications specialist in Calgary. “I’ve eaten it, my dad has eaten it and I’m particularly concerned because my wife and my daughter have eaten it as well.”

“I’ve eaten some as recently as a few days ago,” he said. “You don’t think this is going to happen from something as mundane as Gouda, it’s not that exotic.”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recalled 14 unpasteurized cheese items produced by Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm because they may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7.

The agency said the products were sold at the farm, in retail stores in B.C. and Alberta and over the Internet between May 27 to Sept. 14. The packaging on the cheese lists organic whole milk as the main ingredient, but does not indicate that the milk was not pasteurized.

It is legal in Canada to make and sell cheese containing raw milk, provided it has been aged 60 days. While some cheese manufacturers indicate whether milk has been heat treated or pasteurized on the label, many do not….”

More in the Vancouver Sun.

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