At least 165 sick, 20 hospitalized, 40% five years of age or younger.

In October 2023 I reported the following Salmonella outbreak linked to Raw Farm LLC raw milk:

San Diego – 12 with Salmonella: County of San Diego health officials are reporting three additional cases of Salmonella illness linked to unpasteurized or “raw” milk from a producer in Fresno, CA.   

This brings the total number of local cases to 12, including three people who were hospitalized. The cases began in late September and the most recent person became ill on Oct. 17. 

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a recall of Raw Fram milk and heavy cream on Oct. 24, and a PDF that contains the specific product identification numbers with “best by” dates between Oct. 11 and Nov. 6. Additional raw milk products were not recalled.   

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency urges anyone who may have recently purchased Raw Farm LLC raw milk to not consume it and discard the product. 

The illnesses have been caused by Salmonella bacteria, which is commonly found in human and animal intestines. The 12 San Diego County residents who became ill have reported consuming Raw Farm LLC raw milk the week before they became ill. Cases in other parts of the state are being tracked by CDPH and other local health departments. 

Orange County – 7 with Salmonella: The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) has identified seven cases of Salmonella illness in Orange County (OC) residents following consumption of unpasteurized or “raw” milk from Raw Farm LLC, which recently issued a recall of its raw whole milk and raw heavy creams products.

The HCA urges those who may have purchased raw whole milk or raw heavy cream products from Raw Farm LLC to not consume the products and discard them immediately. Anyone who becomes ill after consuming raw milk or products made from raw milk, particularly products from Raw Farm LLC, should seek medical care immediately.

All confirmed cases had illness onset within the past 30 days, with affected individuals ranging in age from one to 20 years old. The HCA continues to investigate the situation in coordination with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The HCA is also reaching out to stores in the county who may be selling these products to assure that they are aware of the recall.

Today after months of delay we received an Interim Report from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) – which surprise has at least 165 cases that include, Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli cases. Here is a portion from the report from January 2024:

From October 2023 through January 4, 2024, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), in collaboration with California local health jurisdictions (LHJs), the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), and state and federal public health partners, has been investigating a multijurisdictional outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium. Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations have identified Raw Farm brand raw (unpasteurized) milk as the source of theoutbreak. As of January 4, 2024, 151 outbreak-associated cases have been reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Here is a PowerPoint presentation a month later:

Over the last 30 plus years of practice I have been a vocal advocate for robust public health involvement in disease – especially food borne illness prevention. It is beyond me to comprehend why public health would remain mute in the face of at least 165 sick, 20 hospitalized and 40% of the ill five years or younger – especially raw milk – a risky elixir.

2024 Raw Farm LLC Recalls and Outbreaks:

February 2024 E. coli Raw Milk Cheese Outbreak and Recall

Other 2023 Raw Farm LLC Recalls and Outbreaks:
May 2023 Campylobacter Raw Milk Recall
August 2023 Salmonella Cheese Recall 

Here is bit(e) of history:

Organic Pastures Dairy Company (OPDC) & Raw Farm 
Started OPDC in 2000 – Changed name to Raw Farm LLC in 2020

Organic Pastures Dairy Company Recalls and Outbreaks:
September 2006 Raw Milk E.coli Outbreak: 6 ill/2 HUS 
September 2007 Raw Cream Listeria Recall
December 2007 Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak: 8 ill 
September 2008 Raw Cream Campylobacter Recall
November 2011 Raw Milk E.coli Outbreak: 5 ill/3 HUS 
May 2012 Campylobacter Raw Milk/Cream Outbreak: 10 ill, reported illnesses from Jan. thru April
October 2015 Campylobacter Raw Milk Recall
January 2016 E.coli Raw Milk Outbreak: 9 ill/2 HUS

And, by the way, here is the outbreak in a public facing database. The red one is one of a few dozen clients I represent who either had Salmonella or Campylobacter in this outbreak.

The more I think about this the harder it is to figure out why public health would sit on the scientific fact that a food producer of a known high-risk food is sickening hundreds. This includes overwhelming epidemiological evidence of the same WGS pattern in both humans and in milk. Setting aside the “food freedom” argument for a moment that people should be able to eat or drink what they want and feed their kids the same; what about simply informing the public of the facts and letting the public decide for themselves?