The CDC has issued an alert to consumers and health professionals about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in five states: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. Thirty-seven 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 (19), 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.
Based on current information, there is a link with the consumption of one of several cheeses offered for sampling and sale at the “cheese road show” that was held at Costco Warehouses in these states. This 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.
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.