Grassfields Cheese LLC, is conducting a voluntary recall of approximately 20,000 pounds of organic cheeses due to possible contamination with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), a bacteria that can cause serious illness in humans. The recalled cheeses were sold from the firm’s retail store located at 14238 60th Ave., Coopersville MI 49404, to wholesale and retail customers, and to consumers nationwide via sales through the firm’s website: http://www.Grassfieldsscheese.com/.
This recall involves all types and sizes of organic cheeses manufactured by the firm between December 1, 2015 through June 1, 2016 including: Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Chili Cheese, Fait Fras, Polkton Corners and Crofters. The cheeses were sold as wheels, half wheels, and wedges of various sizes.
The potential for contamination was identified during an ongoing investigation of seven cases of human illnesses occurring between March and July 2016 caused by a same type of STEC. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Geagley Laboratory confirmed the presence of STEC bacteria in a sample of Grassfields cheese collected by MDARD food and dairy inspectors.
E. coli infection symptoms vary by individual, but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening. Around 5–10% of those diagnosed with Shiga-toxin producing E.coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Signs that a person is developing HUS include decreased frequency of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Persons with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working and they may develop other serious problems. Most persons with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.