It has been a bad few weeks for proponents of raw milk.
According to the Oregon Department of Health, nineteen people in Oregon are ill with E. coli in an outbreak traced to raw milk from Foundation Farm near Wilsonville, Oregon. Of the 19 people, 11 have culture-confirmed E. coli O157 infections. Fifteen of the 19 cases are children 19 or younger. Four of the children have been hospitalized with kidney failure. On April 19, a Portland hospital confirmed that one of the hospitalized children – a 13-year-old girl – was in critical condition. According to a member of the cowshare implicated in the outbreak, as many as four of the farmer’s children are also sickened, including one with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Wednesday named Stroupe Farm in Howard County as the possible source of an ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in central Missouri. The health department has also narrowed their outbreak down to 12. A 2-year-old who consumed raw milk products has been hospitalized for more than two weeks after developing symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Eight of the 12 individuals reported consuming raw milk or raw milk products from Stroupe Farm. Of the other four, two are related to people who consumed raw milk, while the remaining two have infections that genetically match the others despite the individuals reporting no connection to raw dairy.
Since 1998, 118 total outbreaks with 2,123 total illnesses, 2 deaths have been linked to raw milk or raw milk cheese:
- 85 fluid milk: 17 cow, 4 goat, 64 unspecified milk type;
- 27 cheese: 2 aged, 3 homemade, 17 Mexican-style queso fresco, 1 goat chevre, 1 curds, 3 unspecified;
- multiple raw dairy products (fluid milk, cheese, and/or colostrum);
- 2,123 total illnesses, 2 deaths;
- 1,490 fluid milk-related illnesses, no deaths: 225 cow, 63 goat, 1,202 unspecified;
- 576 cheese-related illnesses: 46 aged, 80 homemade, 324 Mexican-style queso fresco (2 deaths), 5 goat chevre, 63 curds, 58 unspecified cheese type;
- 57 multiple raw dairy products related illnesses (fluid milk, cheese, and/or colostrum).