FDA, CDC, and Costco warn of Bravo Farms cheese product due to E. coli outbreak

November 5th, 2010 - 10:15 pm ICT by BNO News  

SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND (BNO NEWS) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Costco, on Friday warned consumers to avoid Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese due to its relation with an outbreak of E. coli infections.

As of Thursday, 25 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states since mid-October. The number of reported ill persons include 11 in Arizona, 1 in California, 8 in Colorado, 3 in New Mexico, and 2 in Nevada. There have been 9 reported hospitalizations, one possible case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure, and no deaths.

Most people infected with E. coli O157:H7 develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. While most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection.

Even though the case are extremely rare, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, HUS can occur, and can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults.

People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.

The FDA, CDC, and Costco say that Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese may be associated with the outbreak of E. coli infections. The product was available for sale, and free samples were offered for in-store tasting at Costco in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

Consumers that have any of this cheese should not eat it, and should return the cheese to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating it.

Anyone who experienced signs or symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection should contact his or her healthcare provider immediately. Healthcare providers should report any suspected infection to state or local public health authorities right away.

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