IHA and the B.C. Centre for Disease control are telling anyone holding any Gort’s Gouda Cheese from Salmon Arm to not eat it and dispose of it immediately following an E. coli outbreak linked to several sicknesses and possibly one death.
In the Interior, four people are confirmed to be ill, another four have suspected E. coli illnesses after consuming cheese from the dairy.
One person died after eating the cheese, but authorities have yet to make a conclusive link to the death and the cheese consumption.
In Revelstoke, the cheese is distributed by Dolan Home Delivery, which carries several products from the Salmon Arm dairy producer.
Dolan said Gort’s Gouda products are not a big seller for him. He said he sells one or two blocks of Gort’s cheese a month. “Thankfully it’s just a minimal amount,” Dolan said.
The milk and dairy delivery service owner found out today like everyone else and is taking steps to notify customers who purchased the cheeses.
What if you’ve eaten it recently? If you feel well, IHA says you don’t need to do anything. But if you have eaten the cheese in the past 10 days and are very sick or have severe diarrhea, see a health care provider.
The illnesses began in July and the majority of those infected displayed symptoms in late August or early September.
Dr. Eleni Galanis is a physician epidemiologist with the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. She said they hadn’t identified which cheese or cheeses are the culprit and are advising caution by throwing them all out.
“We felt we had to act quickly,” Dr. Galanis said.
However, she said they suspect cheese only from the dairy, not milk.
The individual who died after eating the cheese was a resident at an IHA facility, but added authorities were not providing details on where the people who became ill reside. Dr. Galanis added there had been sicknesses in areas across B.C.
For more details, visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control webpage for this particular incident.