The Outbreak

The CDC posted a few moments ago an update on the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Bravo Gouda Cheese sold at Costco.  To date thirty-eight persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (19), CA (3), CO (11), NM (3) and NV (2). Dates of illness onset range from October 16, 2010 through October 27, 2010. Patients range in age from 1 to 85 years and the median age is 16 years. There have been 15 reported hospitalizations and 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This is a rare strain of E. coli O157:H7 that has never been seen before in the PulseNet database.

The Recalls

On November 23, 2010, Bravo Farms expanded its recall to include all of its cheeses. This action follows laboratory testing by the California Department of Food and Agriculture that reveals the presence of Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 in cheese samples. Bravo Farms sells a variety of cheeses at retail stores throughout the US, mainly on the West coast, including Gouda, Pepper Jack, Tulare Cannonball, and several different styles and flavors of Cheddar cheese. To date, no illnesses associated with L. monocytogenes in Bravo Farm cheese have been reported.

We have filed three lawsuits in Arizona.