September 2, 2014

Oregon E. coli Raw Milk Outbreak Expands

Five children under the age of 15 have now been diagnosed with E. coli 0157 infections in an outbreak linked to raw milk from Foundation Farm in Clackamas County.

The Oregon Department of Public Health has confirmed that four of the children have been hospitalized, and three have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of shiga-toxin producing bacterial infections that can cause kidney failure. The fourth child is waiting lab confirmation.

According to Christine Stone of Oregon Public Health, thirteen people have reported diarrhea, but those cases are not yet confirmed as part of this specific outbreak. All of those people drank unpasteurized milk from the farm.

The farm stopped selling its raw, or unpasteurized, milk last week. It is illegal to sell raw milk through retail outlets in Oregon, but sales are allowed directly to consumers on the farm. Cow-sharing or herd-sharing arrangements, where consumers buy shares in a cow and consume its products, are unregulated in Oregon.

Public health officials have contacted the 48 households who are part of the cow-sharing arrangement through Foundation Farm and have told them to not consume any milk purchased from the farm.

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