This Entire Food Company Just Shut Down Following Safety Concerns
The news follows an outbreak of E. coli associated with the company's products.
The pandemic has had an undeniably detrimental effect on many companies, with businesses shuttering left and right due to diminished foot traffic associated with COVID-related shutdowns. However, a popular food company just closed up shop after over a decade in business—and it's not the pandemic behind the business's decision to shut down. Read on to discover which beloved food company has just closed its doors for good.
Pure Éire Dairy announced its decision to shut down permanently.
On July 18, Pure Éire Dairy and Creamery of Othello, Washington announced that it would be shutting down its business for good.
"As you are probably aware, our family has decided to move on to a new 'era' and have closed our dairy. We feel so fortunate to have gotten to live our little dream and run a successful business based on our personal beliefs," the company's owners said in a statement posted to the company's Facebook page.
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The company's products were subject to a recall due to contamination in June.
In May, The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) announced a that it had identified six cases of E. coli affecting individuals in multiple counties throughout Washington State, including three individuals who required hospitalization and one who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can lead to kidney damage and cause harm to other organs, as well.
By June 23, the DOH had linked the outbreak to those who had either consumed or been in contact with consumers of Pure Éire Dairy Yogurt or PCC Community Market brand yogurt, the latter a product also produced by Pure Éire Dairy and Creamery. In total, 17 people developed E. coli infections, 10 were hospitalized, 4 developed HUS, and none died.
Pure Éire products had previously been recalled over safety concerns.
The 2021 yogurt recall wasn't the only time a Pure Éire product had been pulled from the market over contamination concerns.
In June 2013, Pure Éire recalled its raw milk after it was discovered that the product may similarly be tainted with E. coli. The recall was announced less than a month after the company recalled a number of its milk and cream products due to improper pasteurization; no illnesses associated with consumption of the improperly pasteurized products were reported at the time the recall was announced.
Pure Éire's owners say the decision to close was unrelated to the recalls.
While recalls are rarely good for a small business, Pure Éire maintains that the recent E. coli outbreak did not factor into the company's decision to close.
"We were not shut down by any of the state agencies, nor did we ever find an issue on the dairy. We decided it was time to focus on our family life," the company's owners said in a statement.
However, Food Safety News reports that the company is also the subject of two lawsuits filed in Washington State on behalf of minor children who allegedly became ill after consuming Pure Éire yogurt, claiming negligence on the part of the dairy brand.