Health Hazard Alert – Certain Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm brand raw milk cheeses may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria
Ottawa, September 17, 2013 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm (EST 4478) are warning the public not to consume cheese products described below because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
This recall is the result of an ongoing food safety investigation initiated as a result of a recent outbreak investigation. There may be recalls of additional products as the investigation at this facility continues.
All sizes of the raw milk cheeses listed below are affected by this recall.
These affected products were sold at the manufacturer’s outlet, at retail stores in Alberta and British Columbia, and through internet sale from May 27 to September 14, 2013, inclusive.
Lot codes 122 to 138 are affected by this recall.
Some product packages may not bear a lot code or indicate that the cheese was made with raw milk. These products were also sold clerk-served from deli counters with or without a label or coding. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected product are advised to contact their retailer.
There have been reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products. (See CBC News Article below).
The manufacturer, Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm, Salmon Arm, BC is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.
|Brand Name||Common Name|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Medium Gouda Cheese Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Aged Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||X Aged Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Cumin Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Greek Blend: Onion, Paprika, Parsley, Pepper, Thyme, Oregano Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Gouda Cheese with Jalapeno Peppers Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Smoked Gouda Cheese Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Gouda Cheese with Red Peppers, Ginger Onions & Garlic Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Peppercorn, Ginger, Paprika, Onion & Garlic Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Parsley, Celery, Onion, Garlic, Dill & Chives Quaso de Prato|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Maasdammer|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Beaufort|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Parmesan|
|Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm||Mazouda|
Food contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 may not look or smell spoiled. Consumption of food contaminated with these bacteria my cause serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhoea. Some people may have seizures or strokes and some may need blood transfusions and kidney dialysis. Others may live with permanent kidney damage. In severe cases of illness, people may die.
E. coli cheese outbreak in B.C., Alberta leaves 1 dead, 10 ill
Gort’s Cheese of Salmon Arm, B.C., suspected in outbreak
A statement from Health Canada said there were four cases of illness in B.C. and seven in Alberta.
“One of the cases in British Columbia has died, and the cause of death is currently under investigation,” said the Health Canada statement.
One person is still recovering in hospital and several cases remain under investigation, said B.C. Centre for Disease Control epidemiologist Dr. Eleni Galanis.
The illnesses began in July, with the majority of infected people displaying symptoms in late August to early September.
Some product packages may not bear a lot code or indicate that the cheese was made with raw milk, and CFIA advises consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected product to contact their retailer.
Farm owner and operator Kathy Wikkerink said she was devastated by the news.
“We feel like we … we have hurt these people and it’s totally unintentionally … we were totally unaware of this bacteria being in any of our products,” she said.
“We only have raw milk cheese sales … people come here for raw milk cheese,” adding the farm will only make pasteurized cheese for the time being.
“Our shelves are bare and we just are trying to hold it together and stay alive,” she said.
It is illegal to sell unpasteurized milk, but cheese made from unpasteurized milk is legal for sale in Canada.
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