Cheese Sold At Costco Linked To E. Coli Outbreak

Costco might be a good place to stock up on eyeglasses, but the FDA says that the warehouse store has been selling and sampling some cheese that could make you sick.

According to the FDA, Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese, (Costco item 40654), which was sold at and handed out as free samples at Costco stores in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, has been preliminarily linked with an outbreak of E.coli O157:H7 infections.

From the FDA’s site:

As of Thursday, November 4, 2010, 25 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7have been reported from five states since mid-October. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (11), CA (1), CO (8), NM (3) and NV (2). There have been 9 reported hospitalizations, 1 possible case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.

The agency advises anyone who has Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese that was purchased at Costco to return it to the place of purchase or dispose of it in a closed plastic bag and place in a sealed trash can to prevent people or animals, including wild animals, from eating them.

Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection include diarrhea and abdominal cramps, but some illnesses may last longer and can be more severe. The FDA says that while most people recover within a week, some may develop a severe infection. Rarely, as symptoms of diarrhea improve, a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can occur; this can happen at any age but is most common in children under 5 years old and in older adults. People with HUS should be hospitalized immediately, as their kidneys may stop working and they may be at risk for other serious health problems.

FDA, CDC, and Costco warn consumers to avoid Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda cheese []