My friend, David Gumpert, over at the Complete Patient, took Food Safety News to task a bit the other day in his post – “The Food Safety Ideologues Have a New Spin on That Pesky WI Commercial Dairy Campy Outbreak; In Praise of Camel, Horse and Other Non-Cow’s Milk” over the reporters failure to note that the unnamed Racine County dairy raw milk Campylobacter jejuni outbreak that sickened 16 school kids and 2 adults was the other of the “two raw milks.” The full article on Food Safety News was “Regular Dairy Provided Raw Milk to School.”
As publisher of Food Safety News (think of me as the un-Rupert Murdoch), I posted on David’s Blog:
David, I think it does make sense to talk about “two raw milks.” I tend to agree that in general, if you know the product is going to be heat treated, much less care is taken in the production – hamburger is a great example. I have asked the folks at Food Safety News and Real Raw Milk Facts to be sensitive about that going forward. I am glad that you liked Food Safety News sharing the results of the FOIA. I am most bothered by the failure of WI to disclose the name of the farm.
Over the last few years I have been keeping track of outbreaks and recalls linked to raw and pasteurized milk and cheeses over at Real Raw Milk Facts (of which I have been a financial supporter). We went through the list and more clearly defined the Type/size of dairy to try and differentiate between outbreaks and recalls linked to raw milk that had been intended for pasteurization and raw milk that was not. I hope this makes it clearer where the outbreaks are coming from. By my count, outbreaks or recalls due to raw milk intended to be consumed raw account for 23. There were 15 outbreak or recalls related to raw milk intended to be pasteurized, inadequately pasteurized or contaminated post-pasteurization. Hopefully, I got the numbers right. (Download January 1, 2010 – July 10, 2011 chart)
David’s point about the “two raw milks” seems to be that there should be a distinction between raw milk intended for pasteurization and raw milk indtended to be consumed raw when outbreaks or recalls happen so “real raw milk” is not tainted by the other of the two. I think that makes sense and I hope this chart helps.
Also, in the desire to keep people informed on the status of raw milk regulation, Food Safety News recently posted “Ag Survey Compares States’ Raw Milk Regs.” There may well be some updated information that can be found at Real Raw Milk Facts Regulations or in this Spreadsheet.