The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers nationwide not to eat gourmet raw milk cheeses made by Sally Jackson Cheese of Oroville, Wash. because they may be contaminated with e. coli.
Authorities are investigating the cheese as a possible source of an e. coli outbreak that has sickened eight people in two states -- Oregon and Washington -- between September and November. Those infected with the e. coli bacteria often suffer diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever and fatigue and most recover in a week. In severe cases, the infection can also cause kidney failure.
The FDA said Sally Jackson cheeses -- which have been recalled -- were sold in 17 states including California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Washington. The cheeses were also used in restaurants and sold online. A list of retailers wasn't available.Sally Jackson's products include cow, sheep and goat cheeses and do not have labels or lot codes. They are wrapped in plain brown paper, twine and either grape or chestnut leaves. Consumers who have any of the cheese shouldn't eat it and should return it to the store for a refund. Anyone with questions can call the company at (509) 429-3057, from 11 a.m to 8 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday.
Sally Jackson Cheese is described by Tami Parr, who runs the Pacific Northwest Cheese Project, as an internationally-known master who has been working at the craft of cheese making for 30 years. The cheese maker has also served as a mentor of sorts to the Estrella Family Creamery, which has recalled all of its cheese under a separate FDA investigation.