Free samples and packages of Gouda cheese sold at Costco have been removed from store shelves after being linked to 25 cases of an E. coli outbreak in five Western states, according to health officials.
Costco, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn consumers not to eat Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda that was sold in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, an FDA news release says.
As of Thursday, 25 people, including nine who were hospitalized, had been sickened by E. coli 0157:H7, which causes diarrhea and abdominal cramps. While most people recover in a week, some may develop more severe symptoms of infection or, rarely, a type of kidney failure. One of the cases may be the form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the FDA's release says.
The FDA instructs anyone who has the cheese to return it to the store or dispose of it in a sealed bag that keeps anyone else from getting access.
The FDA and the state of California have begun an investigation of Bravo Farms in Travor, Calif.
For more information, read the FDA’s complete warning.