Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

CDC – Now 33 in in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada with E. coli O157:H7 linked to Bravo Raw Milk Gouda Cheese

The number of ill are keeping just ahead of the lawsuits we are filing. The numbers have increased in Arizona, California and Colorado. The CDC reports that thirty-three persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (15), CA (3), CO (10), NM (3) and NV (2). Dates of illness onset range from October 16, 2010 through October 24, 2010. Patients range in age from 1 to 81 years and the median age is 14 years. There have been 15 reported hospitalizations, 1 case of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and no deaths.

Screen shot 2010-11-10 at 4.37.45 PM.png

  • Bill Anderson

    Bill Marler-
    This is in response to your post on the Shanghia thread. Here is why I object to your characterization of the Morningland and Estrella cases.
    Firstly the evidence presented against them was improperly collected, the documentation inconsistant and incomplete, and the reports biased and probably inaccurate. I have already explained numerous times to you the problems with the FDA report on Estrella (wooden curing shelves, grading cheese, etc…) but you don’t seem to listen.
    Secondly, “Zero-Tolerance” for Listeria Monocytogenes is unscientific and totally inconsistant with international food safety standards. Why? First, not all serotypes of Listeria Monocytogenes are pathogenic. Second, it creates a strong dis-incentive to test for listeria, thus undermining food safety.
    In fact, when I was trained in Dairy HACCP at the University of Wisconsin, I was specifically told by the dairy science professors (who have Monstanto corporation advertisements promoting Posilac on their office doors — the brand name for rBGH/rBST — and have a visceral hostility to raw milk) NOT to test food contact surfaces for listeria in a dairy processing enviroment, because of the regulatory, liability, and reporting issues it would entail. The goal was to find listeria in the enviroment, but NOT to even look for it on food contact surfaces.
    There is plenty that has already been written about how FDA and the state agencies have mishandled the Estrella and Morningland cases. I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here. You don’t seem to care what is said on David Gumpert’s blog, but you take what FDA says as gospel truth.
    It is unfortunate, but what else can we expect from a lawyer who depends upon the outdated and unscientific germ-theory paradigm of food safety as the basis for making his entire living?

  • Mary McGonigle-Martin

    Bill Anderson,
    If you only knew how truly ridiculous you sound spouting the rhetoric of the germ theory and using this to insult Bill Marler. Your perspective has been skewed by all the pro-raw milk dogma. You can’t cast stones when leaders in the movement you are choosing to be vocal about has their own list of lies they spread through websites and books in order to keep their followers believing that raw milk can’t harbor pathogens and if it does, it can’t really harm you. It is such a bunch of BS.
    You are young and full of energy. I challenge you to find people who have become ill from raw milk and talk to them about their experience. I wish you could have the opportunity to sit in a hospital and watch a child suffer from the pain caused by E.coli 0157:H7. You would be greatly humbled.
    You can debate all you want about monomorphism vs pleomorphism as the cause of illness, but the reality is that people are becoming ill from drinking raw milk. The cow shit (pathogen) is getting in the milk. Raw milk is a high risk pathogen food.
    The raw milk movement denies monomorphism as a cause of disease but at the same time denies pleomorphism. If they really believed in this theory and that the human terrain, or ecosystem, is the foundation for health, they would never encourage immune compromised people; especially children, to consume a food that is a high risk for pathogens (raw milk). It is an oxymoron.
    How many raw milk outbreaks have there been in 2010? It is time for the denial to stop

  • L. E. Peterson

    Bill Anderson,

    How completely irresponsible of your professors to tell you not to test food contact surfaces for Listeria just to avoid reporting it. If, in fact, you’re telling the truth about that. I suspect you are exaggerating again and only heard what you want to hear as you have completely missed the point of all the discussions about raw milk products.

    The point is this: SANITATION WAS INADEQUATE AT THE MORNINGLAND DAIRY AND ESTRELLA CREAMERY AND THAT LED TO LISTERIA CONTAMINATION OF THE PRODUCT. The grading procedure was not the problem. The failure of the Estrellas to clean and sanitize the trier and wash their hand between grading samples is the problem. The dirty shelves were the problem, not the fact that they are wooden. The failure to protect the cheeses from cross-contamination during handling is the problem (no hairnets, handwashing or aprons to cover their clothes). Did you not read that or are you choosing to ignore these issues because they don’t fit your beliefs?

    You were not there to witness the inspection procedures so you cannot sit here and state that they were done improperly and the samples were done improperly, so on and so on. You fail to understand the regulatory procedures and processes to the point that you can’t see that both dairies were given due process under law. Regulators cannot just go in and shut a place down without a paper trail documenting all the noncompliances. I know–I regulate for a living and have for 16 years. We have rules to follow or we lose our jobs. The companies have the right to appeal every decision made at every stage of the process right up to the closing of the plant. If they know what they’re doing, they can even get a deferral of suspension to give them time to get back into compliance. If they are not being informed of their rights to appeal, that’s one thing, but if they are choosing to ignore they have a problem until it’s too late, product is seized and their plant is shuttered, then that’s their own dang fault.

    Morningland created their own problems by not knowing the MO and FDA regulations. If they knew that a MO health inspector needed to witness the samples, why wasn’t the inspector informed that they needed him/her there before the employee took the samples? Also, since it was THEIR OWN EMPLOYEE that took the samples and they are claiming that the sampling was improperly conducted, then I can only assume the employee didn’t know how to take the samples. If that’s the case, as a regulator, I have no sympathy for them now that they’re crying “We didn’t know! It’s not fair!”

    These dairies had dirty operations that led to dirty milk and contaminated enviroments. I don’t care how good raw milk supposedly is–I don’t want to drink or eat a raw product that is produced in a dirty/pathogen contaminated environment.

    Grow up Mr. Anderson. You understand little about how the regulatory environment and microbiology actually works. Educate yourself from other sources than raw milk advocates that are flat out spreading mis-information and quit denying the facts of the situation. Read the 9 CFR and 21 CFR and learn the actual regulations.