There is a disconnect between people who produce food, and those they sicken.
Three months after she sampled gouda cheese at a Costco and got sick, a Colorado teenager and her family have decided:
• no more ground beef;
• no more sharing friends’ lunch food at school; and,
• no more tasting cheese, salmon or any other morsels that food stores offer to entice customers.
Madisyn Kirby, 15, who lives in Castle Rock, said the illness that doubled her over in October "was the scariest, worst time of my life. I never want it to happen again."
Madisyn’s family has filed a lawsuit in Douglas County Court claiming Bravo Farms-brand Dutch Style Gouda Cheese she sampled at a Costco store near Park Meadows mall was contaminated by E. coli.’’
Federal and state health authorities linked Bravo Farms cheese to an E. coli outbreak last fall that caused 38 illnesses in Colorado and other Western states.
Yesterday, Bravo Farms co-owner Jonathan Van Ryn said the company’s back in business and last fall’s E. coli outbreak apparently resulted from "an isolated instance of one day’s production."
Madisyn probably doesn’t feel like an isolated case.
Alicia Cronquist, director of foodborne illness investigations at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said a state health team detected "way too many E. coli cases being reported in the Denver metro area. … One thing that stood out was that many had sampled cheese at a large warehouse store. Home visits and lab tests pin-pointed gouda and other cheese samples as the source.
Jon Van Ryn estimated shutdown and recall costs at around $1.5 million and that Bravo, which has specialized in making raw-milk cheeses, is now pasteurizing its milk.