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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

The Raw Milk Facts: Outbreaks, Illnesses and Recalls Linked to Unpasteurized and Pasteurized Dairy Products, United States 2010 – present

With raw milk outbreak in both Oregon and Missouri, it is hard to keep up on the outbreak and recalls.  This line list was compiled through searches for government and dairy industry press releases, reports, and newsletters announcing dairy-related outbreaks and recalls. The data precedes official statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which typically has a ~2-year time lag before being available to the public.  (Download PDF)

milk-bottle.jpgOutbreaks

• 26 raw dairy outbreaks with 333 illnesses, no deaths (24 fluid raw milk, 2 aged raw milk cheese)

• 2 pasteurized dairy outbreak with 39 illnesses, no deaths

• 1 pasteurized Mexican-style cheese sporadic illness, no deaths

• 2 queso fresco Mexican-style cheese outbreak with 67 illnesses, no deaths

• 3 sporadic illnesses and hospitalizations from illegal Mexican-style cheese, no deaths

Recalls (no illnesses reported)

• 14 raw dairy (7 fluid raw milk, 7 aged raw milk cheese)

• 7 queso fresco Mexican-style cheese

• 8 pasteurized (non-queso fresco) cheese

• 4 dairy product recalls due to inadequate pasteurization

Also see, Outbreaks from Unpasteurized (Raw) Milk and non-Mexican Style Raw Milk Cheeses, United States, 1998-2011.  (Download PDF)

For real facts about the risks of raw milk, visit Real Raw Milk Facts.

  • Ann

    I no longer trust data published by the government concerning raw products and natural products such as vitamins. The governments behavior towards farmers and raw milk is appalling. Using tax dollars to conduct raids in a scary, guns pulled, gistapo style show of force is insanity. Raw milk has be drunk for hundreds of thousands of years. Some cultures would not have survived famines if it weren’t for raw milk. I would not suggest to anyone drinking raw milk from cows that mass produce milk, pumped with hormones and fed a grain diet. People who drink raw milk are health conscious, and many don’t go to regular doctors. I certainly don’t. I doubt that these statistics are right. It is unfortunate for people living in countries where food, vegetables meat and milk are zapped, sprayed, irradiated and frozen. The intestinal flora and proper balance of bacteria essential to human health is completely destroyed with these practices.

  • Mary

    Yes, it’s a giant conspiracy and there are no actual sick people or pathogenic microbes. It’s a huge plot to make you enjoy the increasing lifespan that safe and abundant food has provided over the last decades.

    You know: the irony of this is that you can single-handedly return your family to the charming Victoriana of short life span and frequent illness. Go for it!

  • Randy Francisco

    Oh, it must be a conspiracy then? Or does the government have a responsibility to rely on legitimate science and help safeguard health. Health conscious? People who shop at PCC and Whole Foods are health conscious. Neither business is selling raw milk. Why do you think that is? Are they in on the conspiracy too?
    My system has always worked great with a variety of foods. My flora and bacteria are none the worse for it. I don’t wish to take the risk of ruining that by drinking raw milk.

  • Outrage Rules

    I never trust any science or any credible source of objective information. I only trust emotionally motivated blogs channeling subjective opinions of the most popular foodie crackpots. You know, the angry mommy bloggers and the vitamin salesmen and the sold-out hack journalists and the conspiracy theorists. I crave sensationalism so I would never trust scientists or the government!

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/104961978800332475267 Stephenph

    One thing I noticed about the above data is no deaths… so why is raw milk an issue… sure, there are a few more outbreaks of illnesses, but NO deaths. Personally I don’t think I would drink raw milk, but, if people want to make an informed decision, then they should be allowed to.
    As for recalls, it would seem to me that shows the system works. Responsible producers detect something bad in the milk and issue a recall.

  • Bill

    Re: Stephenph

    The data didn’t show what pathogens are responsible for each outbreak, but I am going to guess that most of them are associated with E. coli O157:H7, a common pathogen associated with dairy and cattle products.

    While most E. coli O157:H7 infections result in hemorrhagic diarrhea (you intestinal lining is bleeding out so your fecal matter is contaminated with blood) and is typically self-limiting (you will be excreting bloody stool for a few days and then it will end), it can become deadly in a few cases. Children, elderly people, and people with suppressed immunity are particularly susceptible to getting hemolytic uremic syndrom (HUS). You can find the wiki link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemolytic-uremic_syndrome

    Patients who develop HUS can die from it. If they don’t, then there’s a good chance they will have permanent kidney damage and in some cases, will require life-long dialysis support.

    So yeah, no deaths in these reported recalls. Thank goodness. But I hardly think an increase in bloody diarrhea, together with added risks to our children, our elderly, and our pregnant mothers to develop kidney complications that can kill them or make them reliant on dialysis for the rest of their lives is actually something to dismiss. You’re welcome to disagree.

  • Mary

    @Outrage Rules: Your comment has been cracking me up for hours now. Best comment EVAH on a food site.

  • Kristen

    I, too, have cracked up by “outrage rules” comment. So much so that after hearing about MORE cases in the Oregon e.coli outbreak, I came back here to read it to get a good dose of sad but true humor.