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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Raw Milk E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Strikes Minnesota. Seventh Outbreak in 2010

There have now been at least seven outbreaks of illness, involving three different dangerous pathogens, tied to raw milk since January 2010. There have been outbreaks in Minnesota, Nevada, Utah (2), New York and Pennsylvania, as well as a single outbreak that included illnesses in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Raw milk consumers have been sickened with E. coli O157:H7; Salmonella, and Campylobacter.

Last night, health department officials in Minnesota have reported three cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness linked to raw milk from a dairy farm in Gibbon. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are continuing to investigate the illnesses. All of the sick share a strain of the bacteria that have the same “pulsed field gel electrophoresis” (PFGE) patterns, or DNA fingerprint. One of the ill persons has developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS).

Earlier this month, Nevada health officials reported that a child became seriously ill with a Campylobacter infection after eating homemade cheese that was illegally sold door-to-door. The cheese was not properly pasteurized.

In April, Utah was the site of Salmonella and Campylobacter outbreaks tied to raw milk. According to a Utah Public Health Press Release, there were two separate clusters of illness linked to the consumption of raw milk. The first cluster included nine reported cases of Campylobacter infection among residents in Weber, Davis and Cache Counties. This outbreak was linked to the Ropelato Dairy. The second cluster, linked to the Redmond Dairy, included six reported cases of Salmonella infection in residents in Utah, Salt Lake and Wasatch Counties.

In March, raw milk caused at least 17 culture confirmed Campylobacter infections from Family Farms Cooperative in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana. Three cases were from Indiana, one from Illinois, and 13 from Michigan.

Another outbreak of Campylobacter was reported in February in Pennsylvania. State health officials there said approximately 10 people became ill after drinking raw milk from Pasture Maid Creamery. One of the ill developed Guillain – Barre Syndrome, and became paralyzed.

In January, Willow Marsh Farm in New York was implicated in five Campylobacter illnesses.

Also, see www.realrawmilkfacts.com for more information.