The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is warning the public not to consume Grassfields Cheese, because it may be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria (STEC). About 20,000 pounds of organic cheeses are being recalled. The cheese was sold from the firm’s retail store at 14238 60th Avenue in Coopersville, Michigan to wholesale and retail customers. The cheese was also sold nationwide through the company’s website.
The cheese is associated with a STEC outbreak that has sickened at least seven people between March and July 2016. All of those sickened have the same outbreak strain of E. coli bacteria. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Geagley Laboratory confirmed the presence of STEC bacteria in a sample of Grassfields cheese collected by inspectors.
The cheeses recalled are all types and sizes of organic cheeses made from December 1, 2015 through June 1, 2016. The types of cheeses recalled include Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Chili Cheese, Fait Fras, Polkton Corners, and Crofters. The cheeses were sold as wheels, half wheels, and wedges in different sizes.
If you purchased any of these products, do not eat them. Throw them away in a sealed or double bagged package so other people and animals can’t eat them, or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, watery and/or bloody diarrhea, mild fever, and vomiting. Most people recover within a week, but if the infection is improperly treated or if the patient is very young or elderly, they could develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
HUS is a serious complication that can cause kidney failure and death. Symptoms of HUS include little or no urination, lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, skin rash, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor immediately.