Missouri officials alert to possible raw milk illnesses

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Last week, officials with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the possible link between diarrheal illnesses and locally-produced raw dairy products in the northwestern part of the state.

One person has been confirmed with E. coli O103, while others are suspected to be sickened by Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC). 

The Food Poisoning Bulletin reports that the outbreak has now sickened 7 in the state, including two toddlers who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Read more here.

According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, Homestead Creamery of Jamesport, Mo., is voluntarily withdrawing its Flory’s Favorite cheese from the market place. The affected packages are marked with “Packed on 210” on the label and approximately 250 pounds of the product is included with the recall.

 It may have been sold at several major retailers in the area, including local HyVee grocery stores in Liberty, Mo. and Trenton, Mo.

Homestead Creamery’s plant license has also been temporarily suspended pending results of the ongoing investigation. Consumers who have purchased the cheese may return the unused portion to the store from where it was originally purchased. Click here to read more from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Officials are urging anyone with signs and/or symptoms of STEC to seek medical care. Symptoms include severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. If a fever is present, it is not usually very high.

While symptoms improve in most patients within five to seven days, some patients – primarily children – can develop HUS. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HUS “is the most common cause of sudden, short-term-acute-kidney failure in children.”

Click here to read the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services news release.

In 2012, a raw milk-related outbreak in Oregon sent several children to the hospital, including a two-year-old who developed HUS. Her mother spoke to Oregon Public Broadcasting, describing the ordeal her daughter had to endure. Click here to read the story and listen to the broadcast.

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