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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Kinikin Corner Dairy Campylobacter Outbreak Report Issued

In reading the report (which you can download below), I was struck by this one passage:

The dairy operator was found to be knowledgeable of sanitary standards and testing methods. However, sanitary measures such as having hand washing stations, the use of bleach for sanitizing bottles, proper dishwashing water temperatures, and monitoring of transport temperatures were not implemented. In addition, the milking parlor was partially open to the elements, had a dirt floor, and milk was hand carried from the parlor to the bottling house. After the multiple potential routes of contamination were reviewed with the operator, he installed a temporary hand sink in the milk parlor, added bleach to the dishwasher, and labeled the jars indicating that the milk was unpasteurized.

So much for knowing your farmer. In order to sell raw milk safely (if that is truly possible), farmers, like the Kinikin Corner Dairy, need to not only “be knowledgeable of sanitary standards and testing methods,” but also actually apply and observe them. As raw milk proponents continue to push for their rights to sell and drink raw milk, they need to also understand the need to make food safety a part of the equation. Not having “hand washing stations,” not using “bleach for sanitizing bottles,” not using “proper dishwashing water temperatures, and [not] monitoring of transport temperatures” simply is irresponsible.

  • In the fifties TT rules were brought into force in the UK as the biggest fewar in spreading TB, for which there is still no cure was unpatuerized milk.
    These meant that famers had to build a dairy with a concreete washable floor, complete with hand washing facilities and sterilization for bottles and jugs.
    After each milking operation everything was claened down in a similar manner to hospital operating theatres.
    The biggest contmamination to food and milk is the human hand.
    The only reason smoking was banned in the food industry in the fifties was NBot the smake which is harles, rather the contact between hand and mouth while puffing the cigarette and the danger of contamination from a persons mouth to hand.
    Then of course you goinf to the lavartory etc.
    In you artice a hard dirt floor 60 years after the laws I mentioned in UK is a no no

  • Marymary

    This story illustrates why education or certification of small food producers, whether dairies, orchards, produce farms, etc. is not enough to protect the public. Small food producers need to follow proper sanitation procedures–period.
    When I worked in retail food safety, the small locally owned and operated restaurants and food stores were absolutely the worst. The owners and managers resisted education, and even when they were forced to get food safety certification by state statute, they got the certification and quickly “forgot” everything they’d allegedly learned. A typical conversation went something like this:
    Me: “I see you are certified now.”
    Food Operator: “Yeah, but most of that stuff didn’t apply to us.”
    Me: “Really? How so?”
    FO: “They spent a lot of time talking about chemicals. We don’t have any chemicals.”
    Me: “You don’t have dish soap, bleach, floor cleaners, etc.?”
    FO: “Well, yeah, but–they talked about cooling big quantities of food. We don’t do that.”
    Me: “I just took a temperature on a huge vat of chili in your walk-in cooler. The cooling process applies to that.”
    FO: “Okay, but they talked about using gloves. We don’t need to use gloves here.”
    Me: “Don’t you have sandwiches on the menu?”
    And on it went. I’m exaggerating, but only a little bit. I suspect that many small farmers are no different than than small retail food operators, and I say this as someone who supports small farmers and wants to see them succeed–just not at the cost of public health. Many of the people who are in such work don’t think that the rules apply to them, whether they know the rules or not.