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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Contaminated Raw Milk Strikes Again – Campylobacter in Colorado Sickens at Least Eight

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says raw milk traced to Kinikin Corner Dairy sickened at least eight people with campylobacter.  There have been 11 confirmed cases of the food-borne bacteria since March 30; the state health department says 10 of those sickened reported drinking raw milk and eight of these people reported getting the milk from Kinikin Dairy.

The dairy was issued a public health order late yesterday afternoon.

Campylobacter can be passed through cow feces and if contaminated fecal matter gets into water or milk, humans can be infected.  The infection’s symptoms include diarrhea, sometimes bloody, fever, abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting. It is only rarely fatal. 

Campylobacter infections have to be reported by healthcare providers to the state, and when several cases were reported recently, the state knew almost immediately something was wrong.

Interestingly, today we received several additional documents stemming from a 2006 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak involving Organic Pastures Dairy in California.  The below document and attached pictures (click to download) of the Organic Pastures milking facility were produced in the litigation between Organic Pastures and the State of California.

Organic Pastures too has had recalls due to Campylobacter contamination in its products – See recall in September 2008 and recall with illnesses in March 2008 – And an E. coli outbreak with illnesses in 2006 – And a Listeria recall in 2007.  Right, and then there was that criminal thing.

  • Brian Brandser

    It probably struck the vulnerable again…children and the elderly

  • Scott Freeman

    Mr. Marler,
    Do you have a direct line to the Colorado Health Department to get information sooner than they will give to me? As far I know there is only the fact that eight of the confirmed cases have all had raw milk from our dairy and no actual trace through the milk. There are a lot of people sick in this area with similar symptoms to Campylobacter that don’t drink raw milk. I think it a bit too soon to claim contaminated milk. Wouldn’t you agree it best to wait for the health department to finish their investigation before placing blame to firmly?
    Scott Freeman

  • in ohio

    What a joke!
    “that criminal thing”… I buy raw milk in PA and bring it to Ohio (since raw milk for humans is illegal in Ohio) to feed to orphaned foals… wow, huge criminals there, selling raw milk for animal use in another state!
    DID YOU READ the case w/illnesses? Talk about a joke, only 2.4% of the illnesses could be traced to the Calif Dairy. The same as Calif as a whole, of 80 Campylobacter infections, only 2 can be related to raw milk. Campylobacter was not found in anything related to the Dairy, except fecal matter… (no big suprise there!) It wasn’t found in ANY of their products. It wasn’t even found in one of the two siblings who became ill! Obviously there is another source of Campylobacter… hmmm.. maybe the fact that sewage is sprayed on crops?
    Now, you tie that amazingly week material to a dairy in your own state? Talk about WEAK!