Raw Milk 2010.pngThe FDA is working with officials in North Carolina and South Carolina to investigate an outbreak of campylobacteriosis in three people who consumed raw milk from Tucker Adkins Dairy in York, S.C. The three confirmed cases and another five probable cases are from three different households and each case reports that prior to becoming ill they consumed raw milk that was obtained from Tucker Adkins Dairy on June 14, 2011. The onset of illness in these cases occurred in mid June. One person was hospitalized.

Raw milk is sometimes distributed in North Carolina via independent or informal “milk clubs,” though it may be distributed through other means as well. The cases in this investigation report receiving raw milk twice a month from a courier who delivered the milk from South Carolina.

Since 1987, the FDA has required all milk packaged for human consumption to be pasteurized before being delivered for introduction into interstate commerce. Pasteurization, a process that heats milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time, kills bacteria responsible for diseases, such as listeriosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and brucellosis. FDA’s pasteurization requirement also applies to other milk products, with the exception of a few aged cheeses.

For more information about raw milk, visit Real Raw Milk Facts.

  • Another raw milk outbreak, let the luddites, outrage of alleged rights violation, tea party proclamation, the religious proclamation, and denial begin.
    As I attend the America Veterinary Medical Association meeting, I remember back to the meeting in Seattle where Mr. Marler was conscientious enough to sponsor in attempt to bring public health and raw milk advocates close together. He even took the speakers out to a fantastic dinner that night where the wait staff was not question if anything was produced locally or organic. All speakers dined very well including the raw milk advocates.
    Since that meeting, it seems the sides have move further apart. On the raw milk side, the denial of scientific evidence is stronger than ever, encouraged by the tea party, raw milk folks have started yelling more about violation of rights, the use of blogs, and internet has result in increasing vicious and vindictive personal attacks against public health officials with comments about being at war with local, state, and federal officials, discussion of 2nd amendments responses, and encouraging violation of laws. This high pitch passionate fervor had done nothing to further dialog with regulatory officials. Not to mention that is become profitable for several people to fuel this movement. Who are busily writing books, blogs, etc, and promoting their activities. Their web sites always have links to where various merchandise and donations can be purchased or made, so they do not have an economic reason to further comprise or intelligent discussion
    Public Health response to tumult is to ignore and continue to do their jobs, of course they have become less open to discussion with raw milk advocates since their public behavior hasn’t demonstrated a wiliness to be reasonable or develop and abide by a fair compromise. The raw milk advocate might find if they would reform their behavior that many officials will be willing to consider regulations that would allow the consumption of raw milk by consenting adults who were aware of the risks or who under gone the religious conversation to the faith of raw milk.
    But this conversation will not occur, so let all the comments about denial, outrage, proclamations begin.

  • Bill Anderson

    Hey Doc, let’s talk about whose ignoring the science.
    I don’t deny that this outbreak happened. I’d like a serious investigation as to WHY it happened. Was it because of poor sanitation? Was it because of how the milk was handled? Some other factor?
    But I don’t expect the health authorities to do that. As usual, once they can conclusively finger raw milk, they have no reason to dig any deeper. Their only agenda is to demonize, not to solve problems. Talk about ignoring science.
    We saw this happen in Wisconsin in a 2009 campy outbreak. Fortunately, on one was seriously hurt from that outbreak, but it was used as an excuse for a sweeping crackdown on raw milk that targetted many farms which had never done any harm. The backlash from that battle between a few agenda-driven bureaucrats and the general public was, in part, responsible for electing Koch-backed Scott Walker to office.
    I eventually figured out what the health authorities never bothered to, in their rush to make sweeping generalizations about all raw milk — the outbreak happened because the farmer was not properly cleaning his milk pipeline, and so it had pseudomonas buildups. Pseudomonas contribues to campylobacter survival and infection:
    Its possible there is a similair problem in this case, but we’ll never know because clearly political agendas are more important than science when it comes to raw milk.

  • Minkpuppy

    Dog Doctor,

    Check out the comments on the raw milk articles on Food Safety News. They’re screaming pretty loud over there.

    The raw milk myth is just far sexier than the truth. Americans love drama and raw milk provides plenty of it. I’m still stumped by the allergy cure claim. I rarely drink any kind of milk because I can’t stand the taste of it, yet I still have allergies. Following the raw milkies logic, I should be allergy free since I don’t drink pastuerized milk, yet I still suffer from annoying allergies. I’m sure they’d blame it on the slice or two of pastuerized cheese I have every day to make up for not drinking my calcium. Yeah, right. Whatever.

    Americans have an unhealthy obsession with food. We blame food for all our ills instead of our own unhealthy habits and expect certain foods to miraculously cure us of those ills just because someone on the internet said so.

  • Mr. Anderson, you prove my point with you conspiracy theory of the election of Mr. Walker. You praised the Oregon voters when they voted for raw milk and now you create complex conspiracies to explain the Wisconsin vote. If you your single minder agenda resulted in Scott Walker you deserve what you got. Hopefully, you consider more issues in the 2012 election.
    For some one who doesn’t believe in germ theory, you seemed to making a big deal about Pseudomonas / campylobacter relationship.
    If the farmer wasn’t cleaning his equipment, it sounds like he didn’t understand basic sanitation and you have written many times how a good protective bio film is beneficial.
    Please stay consistent with your arguments,

  • Mary McGonigle-Martin

    Why didn’t this raw milk farmer know how to clean his pipelines correctly? Shouldn’t a farmer know all of this type of information prior to selling raw milk? That’s like opening up a restaurant and saying you didn’t know it was important to use hot water when cleaning the dishes.

  • Minkpuppy

    Mr. Anderson’s logic makes my brain hurt. Not in a good way either. I’m getting a permanent bruise on my forehead from smacking it on my desk every time I read his comments.

  • Doc Mudd

    Yeah, our hero magically “figured out” what went wrong – pseudomonas was reinforcing the oxygen tolerance of camplylobacter in the pipeline – right, a stroke of hallucinatory genius.
    And what was the farmer washing and sanitizing equipment with, hydrogen peroxide? I believe accepted washing protocols involve commercial soaps, maybe some acid, volumes of water to rinse clean?
    DD is correct – common miasmatists should not speculate upon the germ theory, a proven concept that obviously falls beyond their comprehension.
    Jumpin’ Jebus, the audacity of some mountebanks in relentlessly attempting to flim-flam us…un-friggin’-believable, literally.

  • Minkpuppy, I find a good sangria make Anderson’s comment more tolerable or watching the three stooges while reading his comments. The other funny think is check out some of the raw milk sites where he comments. When Mr.Marler kicks him off here, he drives them crazy over there. The interaction is very comical.

  • Bill Anderson

    Wow, I love how this turns into personal attacks on me, when when the anti-raw-milk ideologues can’t handle my simple appeal to reason, logic, and science.
    1) I did not vote for Scott Walker. I was actively involved in the historic Feb./March protests against him as were many small local dairy farmers. I even brought raw milk to share with other protesters and recieved many donations for doing so. My point is simply that the Dems giving into pressure from big-dairy (see $$$$$$$) by vetoing the raw milk bill, turned popular opinion against them.
    2) What you are saying about Oregon? Where/when did I comment about an Oregon vote?
    3) To answer Mary — the farmer in question is no longer selling raw milk. He didn’t want to clean the pipeline because he was afraid of chemical contamination of the milk. The milk quality suffered as well as the safety — it had a shelf-life of under 1 week.
    4) A proper milk pipeline wash requires a chlorinated alkaline caustic, followed by a rinse. Depending on the sanitizer you use prior to milking, this may or may not be followed by an acid rinse to prevent milk-stone buildup. (If you use an acid-based sanitizer such as peroxyacetic acid, you can skip the acid rinse)
    And to repeat: I WOULD GENUINELY LIKE TO KNOW WHAT CAUSED THIS OUTBREAK. To simply blame it on “raw milk” is a cop-out. There is some other reason which the health authorities are ignoring or are too lazy to investigate, because it would undermine their political agenda of demonizing all raw milk.

  • Mr. Anderson, I would suggest you file a freedom of information request for the inspection report and you will find out what went into the investigation. The typical inspection report is comprehensive. I am sure you are familiar with the grade A requirements and inspection form associated with that program.
    As to wisconsin, my point is if the people of wisconsin hadn’t elect walker, a protest would not have been needed. Just as in 2012, I will support the current administration even though I haven’t agreed with all the decision or policies. It beats the alternative.
    As to the attacks, even Doc Mudd is less severe than barney google on david’s blog and mild compared to the attacks on Mr. Marler on that site. This isn’t a pin prick on that scale or comparing your comment on this site about Mr. Taylor

  • Minkpuppy

    Bill A–

    You’ve answered your own question numerous times about the cause of this outbreak. Lack of proper sanitation of the milking equipment combined with animals infected with Campylobacter caused it. Period. It’s not that hard to figure out. You’re trying to make a much larger issue out of it.

    I’m not against raw milk per se. I’m against the sale of raw milk by individuals that are trying to circumvent the laws regarding it. As long they meet the standards for high quality raw milk (SCC and CFU’s equivalent to pastuerized milk), they can sell it. I won’t drink it however. I know too much about the risks to even chance it. If you want to sell raw milk, you need to be held accountable and follow the laws. They are there for a reason. These herd-share arrangements are nothing but disasters waiting to happen.

    In the past, you’ve attacked federal inspectors and public health officials like myself, calling us fascists and all sorts of nasty names. Yet you cry foul when we call a spade a spade? When you apologize to me and every other hard working, ETHICAL public health official on this blog for calling us fascists, I’ll give you some respect, but not before then. I’m just a schlub doing my job, just like they are. I don’t necessarily agree with some of the stupid regs FSIS has in place, but I still have to enforce them. I also highly resent the accusations that many like you make that all federal regulators are corrupt. As Dog Doctor has pointed out many times, we all have to sign conflict of interest statements yearly and abide by a strict ethics code of conduct or risk losing our jobs. Remember Mike Espy? He lost his job as AG Sec because he took gifts from Tyson. That’s just one case I can cite.

    Your comments show no logic and an astonishing lack of knowledge when it comes to microbiology and animal husbandry. There is no science in your argument. You have been asked numerous times to provide scientific journal articles to back up your claims and have failed to do so. The best you seem to be able to do is pull up websites that back up your claims that are also lacking in any valid scientific research to back it up.

    Until you actually use science to back up your claims, you will not be taken seriously by those of us that do know our microbiology. Comments like inhaled dust causing Q fever and protective biofilms don’t win you any brownie points from people that have been studying bacteria and the diseases they cause for years.

    If you have bothered to read any of my various comments on this blog, you know that I am a strong advocate for proper sanitation and handling of ALL foods, not just milk. I am also an advocate of proper animal husbandry. I do not believe in pumping animals full of antibiotics and hormones that just stress them out even more. I’m appalled at what the pork industry has turned into in my home state of Iowa. My dad never subjected his hogs to that kind of stress when he was in the business and wouldn’t do it. He couldn’t compete and is now of out of business. So don’t lecture me about “big Ag”. I’ve seen what it can do on a negative aspect but I also know the good it can do when managed properly.

    If you’ve ever bothered to read any of my previous comments, you would also know that my dad is a former dairy farmer that NEVER fed us raw milk, even though he and his father were meticulous in their sanitation of the milking parlour and animal husbandry. Mom and Grandma always boiled the milk before giving it to the kids. Why? Because they understood the risks of feeding us raw milk. They knew we could get very sick from any number of diseases, including TB, brucellosis and all the other bugs we argue about here. They would not take the risk.

    You would also know (if you bothered to read any of my comments), that my father was ahead of his time in the pork industry when he discovered his swine herd was infected with Salmonella. He depopulated his herd, cleaned up his buildings, sealed any openings that allowed rodents/birds in, treated the manure pits, barnyards and pastures with lime and let them sit empty for several months. He didn’t repopulate the herd until our vet gave the “all clear” on the environmental samples for Salmonella. Why did he risk losing all this money? Because he refused to be responsible for anyone getting ill from his pork. This happened 20 years ago, BTW. Today’s livestock producers still refuse to understand that their husbandry practices contribute to food safety. It’s long past time for them to get on the food safety train.

    If we could trust the food industry to police themselves, my job as a meat inspector and FDA wouldn’t be necessary. But we can’t trust the food industry. Time and time again, people become ill and die because someone cut corners or tried to squirm around the regulations. When it happens and the govt. cracks down, ppl like you scream ‘oppression and fascism. We can’t have it both ways.

    We either have rules or we have anarchy. When it comes to food, anarchy means people dying of preventable diseases. It’s just pure silliness not to take advantage of any technology that makes food safer to consume.

  • comeback

    ***UPDATED*** see bottom paragraph:

    Do you want to know why “Raw Milkies” are so passionate and willing to stand up for for thier beliefs? Read on:

    Living milk (RAW) heals, and promotes life and healing. It is teamming with natural PROBIOTICS (good bacteria which fight nasty bacteria) Diseased milk which must be PASTEURIZED is dead. It sickens, and promotes disease and physical degeneration. Pasteurized milk has no probiotic activity to protect and serve the body. The important key is that to be safe, raw milk must come from properly pasture raised, grassfed (NOT GRAIN as this makes cows sick- with sick milk!)cows who are carefully taken care of. Naturaly, this costs a fair amount of money to produce. Greed must be kept out of the equation. This is usually a small farm whose main goals are safety, cleanliness and care of animal and milk and happy customers willing to pay what these things are and really worth (more money to fairly compensate the farmer for his time and energy).

    Big, greedy agricorporation CAFOs and mega-dairys cheat and skip on through safety, cleanliness, true care and even use controversial (disease causing) growth hormones (rBGH) in relentless pursuit of more, ill-gotten, easier dollars. This is GREED plain and simple, it is cheating by compromising quality for dollars. The only “milk” this greedy system can produce is DISEASED, milk and it also creates the need to pasteurize (make DEAD) this foul, diseased fluid which is the natural result of of this GREED. Like produces like.

    Many of us will not stand for this kind of wrong any longer. We are willing to educate people about truth. We are willing to stand up to the institutions who actively try to hide this truth and put dollars before health. Many of us are willing to fight the ignorance, deciet and greed. If you care about health, truth, helping people, the animals and environment, please join us because YOU JUST CAN’T STOP US!

    Incedentally, there are many other industries (food, military, manufacturing, service, media, etc.) to which the above concepts apply equally to. Greed always dilutes quality, while the almighty dollar actively rationalizes any wrong.

    And just in case you’re wondering- I’ve never posted (other than this comment) on this site or any others about raw milk. I don’t know or have any connection to the other commenters. I have no financial interest at stake (I don’t produce any dairy products). It’s just that I (and a LARGE group of area locals here) have to drink black market raw milk right now (because my State is confused about the truth- thank $big agra dollar$) and will fight for the RIGHT to legally access what I believe is the healthiest RAW MILK choice for my family without having to be made to feel like a criminal. And yes, I am slightly upset that our rights are being trampled by big dollar intere$ts, aren’t you? There are millions of us. *Industry insiders- please follow your conscience, do the right thing and stand with those trying to help.