SEQUIM — Raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery is back on store shelves again after the state Department of Agriculture staff found Escherichia coli bacteria, E. coli, in one raw milk sample dated June 5.
Ryan McCarthey said they learned June 4 about the sample and they notified vendors to pull their raw milk, skim milk and cream with expiration dates of June 5-14.
Three days later, state officials had tested another sample and gave the creamery approval to sell its product once again.
Sarah McCarthey said they had milk on delivery trucks on Friday just in case they were given an all clear. By Saturday, Clallam and Jefferson county suppliers were stocked again, she said.
McCarthey said the latest results were a surprise considering their continued testing through an independent lab since April and the amount of cleaning measures they’ve taken.
Ryan McCarthey said other state samples with expiration dates June 2 and 4 along with independent lab testing results of products expiring June 7, 10, 11 and 12 were found clear of E. coli.
Previously, the creamery was given an all clear in its samples April 22, after E. coli was found in two separate samples from late March and early April leading to an extended recall in April that owners said cost them tens of thousands of dollars.
The McCartheys are installing more than $20,000 worth of cleaning and sanitation equipment, which Ryan McCarthey said will improve hot water temperatures for cleaning and automate more of the cleaning process.
The McCartheys held their 13th anniversary celebration last Saturday commemorating the farm beginning to sell raw milk.
Between the recalls, the state Department of Agriculture reports that no illnesses have been found related to the recalled products.
State health officials urge customers not to drink or eat the creamery’s products with expiration dates of June 5-14 and return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
Consumers can call the creamery at 360-683-0716 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with questions.
The creamery’s raw milk is typically available in about 50 retail stores across Western Washington, including stores in both counties on the North Olympic Peninsula.
For more information and updates on the Dungeness Valley Creamery, 1915 Towne Road, call 360-683-0716 or visit www.facebook.com/dungeness valleycreamery.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].