SEQUIM — Dungeness Valley Creamery is voluntarily pulling its milk products from store shelves again after a state Department of Agriculture sample found Escherichia coli bacteria, E. coli, in raw milk dated June 5.
Creamery co-owner Ryan McCarthey said Wednesday that they learned Tuesday about the sample and notified vendors to pull their raw milk, skim milk and cream with expiration dates of June 5-14.
State health officials urge customers not to drink or eat the product and return it to the place of purchase for a refund. Consumers can call the Creamery at 360-683-0716 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. with questions.
McCarthey said other state samples with expiration dates on June 2 and June 4 along with independent lab testing results of products expiring June 7, 10, 11 and 12 were found clear of E. coli.
The Creamery was previously 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 which owners said cost them tens-of-thousands of dollars.
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.
“We were really confident because we had done private testing before and after,” McCarthey said.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said. “We’re hoping to know by the end of the week when we can sell again. Looking at the past timeline, hopefully it’ll be four days too.”
During their previous recalls, McCarthey said they deep-cleaned their whole facility and further inspected their cows.
By the end of the month, he anticipates installing more than $20,000 in cleaning and sanitation equipment.
Sarah McCarthey, Creamery co-owner, said they want customers to feel comfortable with them and that’s why they’ve gone to such great lengths to rectify any issues.
She said their independent lab results turned up negative but “we have to be diligent for public safety and look towards solving any possible contamination problems.”
Between the recalls, the state reported that no illnesses have been found related to the recalled products.
The McCartheys continue to plan their 13th anniversary celebration of selling raw milk from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday anyway.
Their milk products might not be available but they’ll offer ice cream and food from Pacific Pantry. They’ll also offer tours and hay rides.
“We didn’t want to cancel,” Ryan McCarthey said. “We think it’ll be a good chance for people to be supportive, see the farm and what we do. We’re excited to be doing it.”
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].