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Gort’s owner points to peppers
Owners of Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm are feeling slightly hopeful for the first time in a few weeks.
While the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Tuesday that its report on the E. coli outbreak linked to the cheese will be completed “in the coming weeks,” Gort’s owner Kathy Wikkerink said she understands the red pepper and black pepper goudas have been implicated.
“But not on whole batches but on random wheels.”
In mid-September, a total of 15 varieties of Gort’s cheese were recalled. Wikkerink said Wednesday that all the cheese is being removed from the premises, a procedure the farm was expecting to finish that day. Although she said they haven’t received any official word yet on when they can resume operations, she’s hopeful it will be soon.
“Our hope is that they will give us a green light to start selling cheese after this is done.”
The farm has been selling only yogurt, milk and meat since shortly after the first recall was announced. Wikkerink estimates that more than two tons of cheese are being discarded.
“Probably two tons that has not been in circulation, plus what was in circulation.”
She is grateful that Spa Hills Farm near Falkland has offered to compost it, adding she’s grateful for all the encouragement and help her family has received from the community.
As of Tuesday, 26 cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness linked to the cheese had been reported, 12 in B.C., 10 in Alberta, two in Saskatchewan and one each in Manitoba and Quebec. Of those, a Vernon woman, Corry Vander Linde, died and all others were reported to have recovered or are recovering.