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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

At Least Three Deaths Linked to Whittier Farm Milk Listeria Outbreak

According to Stephen Smith of the Boston Globe Staff in his article, “State test points to dairy as germ source:”

Coffee-flavored milk taken from a cooler at a central Massachusetts dairy carried germs identical to bacteria that killed two elderly men and made two other people sick….

Genetic fingerprinting conducted at the state laboratory has indicated that a milk sample collected at Whittier Farms dairy two weeks ago, a sample taken in November from a bottle in a victim’s refrigerator, and blood drawn from the four patients all harbored exactly the same type of listeria.

Clearly, there was a failure in the pasteurization process or the contamination was introduced post-pasteurization.  Recent reports suggest the later.  Although outbreaks associated with mis-pasteurized milk have occurred, in nearly every instance it was a failure of the pasteurization process or post-pasteurization contamination that lead to illnesses. See by prior blog post, “More News on Massachusetts listeria Deaths Related to Whittier Farms Pasteurized Milk.”

So, before you go out and start buying raw milk because you are now worrying about mis-pasteurization, please take a hard look at the list of raw milk outbreaks put together by Barfblog and the below PowerPoint from the FDA:

Here is some interesting information on Raw Milk Production:  "Raw Milk Legal Status in Top 10 Milk Production States:"

1. California – 2903 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk sales are legal in retail stores.

2. Wisconsin – 1852 million pounds in 2003 – In January, 2005, a raw milk bill was submitted to the Wisconsin legislature

3. New York – 1015 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk sales are permitted on the farm.

4. Pennsylvania – 855 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk sales are legal both on the farm and retail

5. Minnesota – 691 million pounds in 2003 – State Constitution stated in Article XIII, Section 7: Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.

6. Idaho – 734 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk sales are legal with a license

7. New Mexico – 565 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk and raw milk products sales are legal both on the farm and in retail stores

8. Michigan – 511 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk sales are illegal but the state condones cow sharing programs

9. Washington – 467 million pounds in 2003 – Grade A dairies may sell raw milk

10. Texas – 471 million pounds in 2003 – Raw milk sales are permitted

  • Whittier Recalls Listeria Laden Milk

    I have been following this tragic tale since right after Christmas in a series of three posts (1, 2, 3). I was somewhat surprised when Linda Bock of the Worcester Telegram wrote in yesterdays paper that Whittier Farms “voluntarily” stopped…

  • Is this a new type of germs? I drink a lot milk everyday! Usually i drink milk as much as I drink water. Thanks for the information you thought us.