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E coli outbreak linked to cheese sold at Costco - CDC

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday Nov 5 updated on the multistate outbreak of E coli O157:H7 infections saying the outbreak was linked with one of several cheeses offered for sampling and sale at Costco Warehouses.

The tainted cheese - "Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese (Costco Item 40654) manufactured by Bravo Farms, Traver CA—was sold and offered as free samples for in-store tasting from October 5 to November 1," the CDC says.

In total, 25 people have been found thus far infected with the outbreak strain of E coli O157:H7 in five states including Arizona  (11), California (1), Colorado (8), New Mexico (3) and Nevada (2), the agency reports.

The E coli illness linked to the outbreak started to appear from Oct 16 through Oct 24 this year. And illnesses that occurred after Oct 18 may not have been reported, the CDC says, meaning that more cases are possible.

E coli O157:H7 can cause bloody diarrhea and abdominal craps within 2 to 8 days of ingesting tainted foods.  Most people can recover without medical intervention, but young, older and those whose immunity is compromised are believed to be at higher risk of sever complications such as kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The CDC advises that food consumers who have the cheese linked to the E coli outbreak should not eat it. Instead, they should return the cheese to the place of purchase or dispose it in a close plastic bag placed in a sealed trash can.

By David Liu


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