Owners of Spanish Sonrise Dairy opt to close dairy


After recalling all of their natural raw cow milk, natural raw goat milk and natural raw cream due to a possible contamination of listeria monocytogenes, the owners of Spanish Sonrise Dairy in Yacolt have decided to close down the dairy.

“My husband and I had already decided we were going to sell it (the dairy) in one to five years or so anyway, so we just decided why not do it now,” said Tina Rodriguez, who owns the dairy with her husband Jose. “It’s a bittersweet thing for me, I’m going to miss them (the cows) and I feel bad for the customers because now they’re going to have to pay really high prices elsewhere.”

A press release issued by Rodriguez on April 14 stated that they decided to recall the products after routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) discovered that the raw cream was potentially contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can cause serious illness. It is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Spanish Sonrise Dairy’s natural raw milk, goat milk and cream with the expiration dates of April 16 through April 21 were voluntarily recalled by Rodriguez and her husband. The milk was sold in half gallon and gallon plastic containers, and the cream was sold in pint and quart plastic containers. Rodriguez said the possible listeria contamination was only found in the cream, not in the milk.

Rodriguez said they were able to act quickly when they were told about the possible contamination and recalled all of the milk and cream with those expiration dates. Out of 112 gallons with those dates, she said they were able to recover 102 gallons. There are currently no instances of anyone getting sick who drank milk or cream from the dairy.

Recalled raw milk and cream was sold in Amboy, Battle Ground, Camas, Vancouver and Yacolt.

Currently, Spanish Sonrise Dairy is home to about 30 head of dairy cows. Rodriguez said they do have a potential buyer in Oregon who is considering buying the cows and would continue to use them to produce milk.

Rodriguez said both she and her husband are sad to sell the dairy.

“We’re both sad because we put a lot into it, with the dairy itself and the babies (cows),” Rodriguez said. “We’ve done really well with what we’ve had and we’re sad to see it go, but it’s a new chapter in our life.”

Consumers with any questions about the recall can call Rodriguez at (360) 931-7283 between the hours of 8 a.m.-5 p.m.