I need to add two more bacterial outbreaks to my growing list of seven since January 2010. This just landed in my inbox from the Washington State Department of Agriculture – E. coli update: new illnesses point out potential raw milk hazards – Patients say they drank milk from Whatcom County dairy
Two recent infections with toxin-producing E. coli (E. coli O157) have been identified in Washington residents who drank raw, unpasteurized milk. The two cases confirmed this month bring the count of infections this year associated with one Bellingham dairy to eight.
Although it’s legal to buy and sell raw milk in Washington, the state departments of Health and Agriculture (WSDA) remind consumers that raw milk can be dangerous.
The two new patients say they drank raw milk produced by Jackie’s Jersey Milk in Whatcom County. WSDA has conducted additional testing of the firm’s product, but has not found E. coli in the milk. WSDA continues to work with the farm to review the dairy’s production and product handling practices.
The firm issued a product recall notice in February after WSDA found E. coli during routine sampling of the farm’s raw milk. Soon after the February recall, six patients with E. coli infections reported drinking the dairy’s product. People who were sick said they got the milk at retail stores in King, Snohomish, and Skagit counties.