Maricopa County, Arizona resident Annette Sutfin filed an E. coli lawsuit today against Bravo Farms Cheese, LLC, the cheese manufacturer that produced and distributed Gouda cheese that has been identified as the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among Costco Wholesale customers in the southwestern United States.
According to the complaint filed in Federal District Court in Arizona by the Marler Clark food safety attorneys, on October 15 Ms. Sutfin consumed a sample of E. coli-contaminated Gouda cheese at the Costco warehouse located at Christown Spectrum Mall in Phoenix. Three days later she began experiencing symptoms of E. coli infection, including painful abdominal cramping.
On October 21, Ms. Sutfin experienced bloody diarrhea, the hallmark symptom of E. coli O157:H7 infection, and sought treatment at the St. Joseph’s Medical Center ER. She returned to the hospital on October 23 and was admitted for treatment. Ms. Sutfin was hospitalized until October 25. On November 1 she was notified by the Maricopa County Health Department that a stool sample had tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 and later learned that the strain of E. coli O157:H7 isolated from her stool matched the outbreak associated with the Bravo Farms Gouda Cheese outbreak.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ms. Stufin is one of at least 25 people from 5 states who became ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after consuming Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese sold and sampled at the “cheese road show” held at Costco warehouses. Victims of the outbreak reside in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico.