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July 16, 1999

Country Charm Recalls Chocolate Ice Cream Because of Possible Salmonella

OLYMPIA, WA (SafetyAlerts) - Country Charm Dairy, of Arlington, Wash., today began collecting its chocolate ice cream products from store shelves because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported. And, no other ice cream flavors are implicated at this time.

Country Charm Dairy, distributes its chocolate ice cream in half-gallon containers to grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores in Island, Snohomish, Skagit and north King counties. A three-gallon container is distributed to institutional markets. The packages do not have code numbers or expiration dates identifying the lot; so, as a precautionary measure, Country Charm is recalling all of the chocolate ice cream that has been distributed.

The Salmonella was detected yesterday by the Microbiology Lab at the state Department of Agriculture. An investigation into the source of the salmonella is now in progress. Department of Agriculture routinely tests packaged foods for bacteria that may cause human illness. Samples were collected at Country Charm Dairy July 7.

The last date of production for the chocolate ice cream was June 25. Members of the state Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Program notified Country Charm yesterday that the Microbiology Lab had found Salmonella in its chocolate ice cream. Salmonella was not found in the other ice cream flavors from Country Charm tested at the same time.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections and arthritis.

Cultures from the chocolate ice cream sample are on their way to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lab in Bothell for species identification.



The information contained herein has been obtained from sources that the Company believes to be reliable, however, the Company has not independently verified or confirmed the information and the recipient acknowledges that no representations or warranties are being made in connection with the use of the information.