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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Raw-milk Producer Fails to Meet Standards

Barbara Feder Ostrov of the Mercury News reported on Organic Pastures – Again:

State agriculture officials have temporarily banned the sale of raw cream from the Organic Pastures dairy in Fresno, citing bacteria levels of up to 150 times the legal limit. They also have warned a Watsonville dairy, Claravale Farm, that it faces a similar ban if its raw skim milk or raw cream fails another inspection.

From 1998 to 2005, raw milk and cheese were implicated in 39 disease outbreaks nationwide that sickened 831 adults and children, hospitalized 66 and killed one, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

California’s new raw milk safety standards allow no more than 10 coliform bacteria per milliliter, the same requirement for pasteurized milk.

Organic Pastures in particular has been beset by potentially harmful bacteria in its raw milk in recent years.

In 2006, five children were infected with E. coli bacteria linked to Organic Pastures’ raw milk. Some suffered bloody diarrhea; others, kidney failure. The dairy is now facing lawsuits from two families affected by the outbreak.

The dairy’s raw cream was recalled in September 2007 after listeria was found in a sample, although no illnesses were reported. Then, in November and December, state public health officials investigated reports of a campylobacter bacterial outbreak that sickened five people who drank Organic Pastures raw milk.

I think one of the most shocking quotes from the article is this one:

Organic Pastures’ McAfee couldn’t agree more.

"I invite (the agriculture department) to keep on sticking me in the ribs because it keeps increasing our sales," he said. "It stirs up the grass roots."

His product is linked to illnesses and it is not  making the grade,  but he uses that as a marketing tool?  This quote and all the Youtube video must really be a headache for his lawyers and insurance carriers.

  • Trial Court Backs Standards For Raw Milk

    Robert Rodriguez of The Fresno Bee reported from the courtroom Friday in Hollister that the Superior Court judge ruled that the state had a rational basis for creating legislation that imposes a higher safety standard for Organic Pastures and Claravale…