By STEVE BROWN
SEQUIM, Wash. -- A follow-up inspection of the Dungeness Valley Creamery found no serious violations of state rules for raw milk operations, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Additional testing of the creamery's milk found no presence of E. coli bacteria, WSDA communications director Hector Castro said.
The agency had initiated a health alert this week after routine sampling detected toxin-producing E. coli in a sample of raw cream. Creamery owners immediately notified their retailers and consumers, letting them know to discontinue use of the product until further notice and that they would receive a full refund.
When the further testing showed no E. coli bacteria, the scope of the health alert was narrowed to products with "best by" dates between March 2 and March 8.
The WSDA said consumers should purchase only newly packaged raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery, which would have a "best by" date of March 9 or later.
The agency said retail raw milk is legal to sell in Washington, but there are serious health risks. It reminded consumers they should read the warning label on the retail raw milk container carefully and make an informed decision.
The creamery, which has been producing raw milk for eight years, turns out 100,000 gallons of milk annually, co-owner Ryan McCarthey said, "and this is the first time anything has been found in our milk."