• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

News & Events

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

Section Contents Menu

Newsroom

FDA NEWS RELEASE

 
For Immediate Release: Nov. 4, 2010
Media Inquiries: FDA Office of Media Affairs, 301-796-4549, fdaoma@fda.hhs.gov
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
 
UPDATE: Jan. 31, 2011: On Jan. 27, 2011, U.S. Marshals, acting under a court order sought by the Food and Drug Administration, seized about 105,000 pounds of cheese made from unpasteurized milk from the Bravo Farms facility in Traver, Calif. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California issued the warrant for the seizure of the cheeses.
 
UPDATE: Nov. 23, 2010: Bravo Farms is voluntarily recalling all cheese. The action follows laboratory testing by the California Department of Food and Agriculture that revealed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 in cheeses. The Bravo Farms press release and label images are posted here.
 
UPDATE: Nov. 16, 2010: Laboratory testing conducted by the New Mexico Department of Health on an unopened (intact) package of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased from a Costco retail location has identified E. coli O157:H7 matching the outbreak strain. This is the first confirmation from an unopened cheese sample, and is consistent with previous laboratory testing conducted on two opened packages of the Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased at Costco, which also identified E. coli O157:H7 matching the outbreak strain. These opened packages were from two different case patients’ homes. Testing on two additional opened packages from other case patients’ homes is in process.  
 
UPDATE: Nov. 10, 2010: Laboratory testing conducted on two opened packages of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased at Costco from two different case patient’s homes has identified E. coli O157:H7 matching the outbreak strain. Preliminary laboratory testing conducted on an unopened package of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese obtained from a Costco retail location has identified E. coli O157:H7. Additional laboratory testing is currently ongoing. Preliminary laboratory testing conducted on two additional opened packages of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased at Costco from two other case patient’s homes has indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7. Additional laboratory testing is currently ongoing to confirm these results.
 
FDA is working with its state partners to investigate Bravo Farms and to identify potential sources of contamination. FDA has collected product samples for testing.
 
On Nov. 5, 2010, Bravo Farms voluntarily recalled all Dutch Style Gouda cheese because it may be contaminated with E. coli 0157:H7. The product was distributed primarily through Costco in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico in 1.5 lb. pieces. It was also distributed through various retail stores within California in 8 oz. pieces. The lot codes are numbers less than 0233.
 
As of Nov. 10, 2010, the CDC reports that 33 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states since mid-October. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (15), CA (3), CO (10), NM (3) and NV (2). There have been 15 reported hospitalizations, 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.
 

FDA, CDC, and Costco warn consumers to avoid Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese

Raw milk cheese may be related to outbreak of  E. coli infections
 
Fast Facts
  • Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese, (Costco item 40654) offered for sale and in cheese sampling events at Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) locations is preliminarily linked with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections. This cheese is made from raw milk.
  • Consumers who have any of this cheese should not eat it. They 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.
  • 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. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this 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.
  • As of Thursday, November 4, 2010, 25 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7have been reported from five states since mid-October. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (11), CA (1), CO (8), NM (3) and NV (2). There have been 9 reported hospitalizations, 1 possible case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.
 
What is the Problem?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention join Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco), in warning consumers not to consume Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese (Costco item 40654), as this cheese may be associated with an outbreak of E.coli O157:H7 infections. The cheese was available for sale, and free samples were offered for in-store tasting at Costco in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
 
What are the Symptoms of Illness/Injury?
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. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this 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.
 
What Do Consumers Need To Do?
Do not eat Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese (Costco Item 40654) purchased at Costco. Consumers should return this product 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 them. 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.
 
Where is it Distributed?
Costco offered the Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese for sale and for in-store tasting at its stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.
    
What is Being Done to Protect Consumers?
The FDA, CDC and Costco are working together on the investigation and will update the public with more information as soon as it is available. As more information becomes available, the recommendations to consumers may change. The FDA, in conjunction with the state of California, has initiated an investigation at Bravo Farms.
 
In addition, Costco is advising consumers to return any remaining Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese they may have at home to Costco for a full refund. Costco has voluntarily removed the cheese from its stores and, using card purchase records, has notified consumers by phone of the situation.
 
Costco Press Release
 
The information in this press release reflects FDA’s best efforts to communicate what the manufacturer has reported to FDA.
 

disclaimer icon 

 

RSS Feed for FDA News Releases [what is RSS?]