August 5, 2016 — Whole Foods has issued a recall for organic cheese produced by Grassfields Cheese after an outbreak of E. coli.
Between March and July 2016, seven people were sickened by the same strain of Shiga-toxin E. coli (STEC). A sample of Grassfields Cheese tested positive for E. coli in laboratory testing by health officials in Michigan.
On August 3, Grassfields Cheese recalled about 20,000 pounds of cheese made between December 2015 and June 2016.
The recall includes the following types of cheese:
- Onion ‘n Garlic
- Country Dill
- Lamont Cheddar
- Fait Gras
- Polkton Corners
The products were sold at Whole Foods stores in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
The cheese was cut and packed in plastic wrap with labels beginning with PLU codes ranging from 0206151 to 0206159 and “Best By” dates through September 2, 2016.
Infection with E. coli can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (may be bloody), vomiting, and low fever. Most people get better within 5-7 days, but around 5-10% of victims develop a complication known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).
People who are developing HUS may have decreased urinary output, feel very tired, and lose pink color in their cheeks and lower eyelids. They will need to be hospitalized. Most people with HUS recover in a few weeks, but some suffer permanent kidney damage or death.
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