Minnesota State health officials have linked three cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness with raw milk from a dairy farm in Gibbon, Minn. The Minnesota Department of Health urges anyone who may have recently purchased milk from the Hartmann Dairy Farm, also known as M.O.M.’s, to discard the product and not consume it. The milk may be labeled organic and consumers may be unaware that the milk has not been pasteurized. In addition, consumers should not eat cheese, ice cream or other dairy products from the farm, which also may have been made from raw, unpasteurized milk.

Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 illness typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea.People typically become ill two to five days after eating contaminated food. E. coli O157:H7 disease sometimes leads to a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and can occur a week or more after the onset of diarrhea. People who have developed symptoms after consuming unpasteurized milk should seek immediate medical attention. Those most at risk of developing complications from E. coli infection include the very young, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are continuing to investigate a cluster of four E. coli O157:H7 illnesses that all have the same “pulsed field gel electrophoresis” (PFGE) patterns, or DNA fingerprint. Three of the four cases report a link to milk from Hartmann Farm; the fourth case is under investigation. Three of the four people were hospitalized as a result of their illness; one case has developed HUS.  Minnesota law prohibits most raw milk sales, except for occasional purchases directly at the farm where the milk is produced.

For more information on raw milk see, www.realrawmilkfacts.com.