December 22, 2014

Wisconsin Issues Final Report on Durand Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak

E.coli in raw milk sickened 12

A final report about the raw milk Campylobacter outbreak in Durand, Wisc. has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). The 25-page report confirms that the September outbreak, which sickened 38 people and hospitalized 10 who attended a football team potluck dinner, was caused by contaminated raw milk. The report does not name the farm that provided the milk, referring to it throughout as Farm A, but the name of the farm was released by the state agriculture department in response to an open records request by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The owners of  the Arkansaw, Wisc. farm, Roland and Diana Reed, did not tell attendees at the football potluck that the milk they contributed was unpasteurized.  The Reeds sell their milk to a local cheese maker and are … [Read more...]

WI Names Farm Linked to Durand High School Campylobacter Outbreak

raw-milk

Wisconsin health officials say the source of a Campylobacter raw milk outbreak that sickened 38 people in Durand Wis. earlier this fall is a farm operated by Roland and Diana Reed in Arkansaw, Wis. The name of the farm was released in response to an open records request by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  At least 38 people in Durand contracted Campylobacter infections from raw milk that the Reeds served at a banquet for the Durand High School football team. Eight people were hospitalized. Banquet attendees were not told the milk provided for the banquet was unpasteurized.  Dozens of the students who attended the banquet became sick. Two football games had to be canceled because so many players were seriously ill. Bri­anna Win­nekins, a man­ager of the foot­ball team, was … [Read more...]

In Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak, Farmer Could Face Penalties

raw-milk

The farmer who supplied raw milk that sickened dozens who attended a football team's potluck dinner in Durand, Wisc. could face penalties or other enforcement actions, according to a local news report. The farmer, whose name has not been released by health officials,  did not tell attendees that the milk was not pasteurized. At least 38 people, many of them high school students, contracted Campylobacter infections from the raw milk. Some students and athletes were so sick they were hospitalized. Two football games were canceled because so many players were seriously ill. After students recovered from the initial illness,  families were left with medical bills and worries about long-term complications that Campylobacter infections can trigger such as reactive arthritis which causes … [Read more...]

UK Study Finds 70% of Chickens Contaminated with Campylobacter

FPBchickeninpackage

A new study published by the Food Standards Agency in the UK finds that most of the chickens sold in that country test positive for the presence of Campylobacter bacteria. The study is the first part of a year-long survey of Campylobacter on fresh chickens. The FSA states that its number one food safety priority is tackling Campylobacter contamination on poultry. The results show that 18% of chickens tested positive for Campylobacter above the highest level of contamination (above 1,000 colony forming units per gram). They also found that 70% of the chickens tested positive for Campylobacter. And 6% of packaging tested positive for Campylobacter with only one sample at the highest level of contamination. So far, 1,995 samples of fresh whole chilled chickens have been tested out of a … [Read more...]

South Dakota Campylobacter Cases Linked to Raw Milk

campylobacter-raw-milk-SD

A recent outbreak in Durand, Wisconsin is the latest example of a Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk. It's a common pairing. The South Dakota Department of Health tracked Campylobacter cases from January 2012 to August 30, 2014. Of the 791 total cases of campylobacteriosis reported during that period, 42 were associated with raw milk, or about 5 percent. Most of those affected,  23 of the 42 cases , were children 19 and under. Ten case patients were 5 and under. The cases were reported in the following counties: Beadle, Brookings, Butte, Clark, Davison, Day, Faulk, Gregory, Haakon, Hamlin, Hanson, Kingsbury, Lawrence, Lincoln, Marshall, Meade, Miner, Minnehaha, Perkins, Roberts, Todd and Union. (Image from the South Dakota Department of Health.) … [Read more...]

WI Raw Milk Outbreak Raises Ethical, Legal Questions

Durand-Raw-Milk-Campylobacter

A raw milk outbreak that sickened 38 people in Durand, Wisconsin, is raising ethical and legal questions. The milk was served at a potluck for the football team on September 18. Many of those sickened were high school students. The parent who supplied the milk told no one that it had not pasteurized. Two days after the dinner, reports of illnesses started rolling in. Like other bacteria that causes food poisoning, Campylobacter produces symptoms including diarrhea that can be bloody, vomiting, abdominal cramping and fever. Eight people were hospitalized. So many of the football players were so sick for so long that the school had to forfeit two football games. The outbreak also triggered a massive cleaning effort at the school and, before the source of illness was determined, … [Read more...]

Raw Milk and Campylobacter: A Frequent Pair

Wisconsin-Campylobacter-Law

Raw milk is a frequent source of Campylobacter outbreaks, as high school students in Durand, Wisconsin learned this fall. Thirty eight people developed Campylobacter infections when they unknowingly drank raw milk provided by a parent for a football banquet. The outbreak, which hospitalized eight people, left many students and players sick for weeks forcing the cancelation of two football games. It also triggered a massive cleaning effort at the school and prompted many students to stay home from class to avoid becoming ill. Campylobacter is a bacteria that causes illness when food or beverages contaminated with animal feces are consumed.  Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting. Serious, long-term … [Read more...]

Campylobacter in Raw Milk Could Pose Long Term Health Problems for Durand Football Team

raw-milk

At least 38 people in Wisconsin who contracted Campylobacter infections from raw milk served at a banquet for the Durand High School football team could face long-term health problems. Some people with Campylobacter infections develop long-term complications such as reactive arthritis which causes painful swelling of the joints and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, (GBS) which is characterized by the sudden onset of paralysis that can last weeks, months or years. "People who develop GBS as a result of ingesting Campylobacter often have life-long complications. For example, one of our Campylobacter-GBS clients has paralysis in all four extremities that, years after consuming raw milk, still affect all of his activities of daily living," said Fred Pritzker, national food  safety attorney and … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Uses Chicken “Juice” to Form Biofilms

FPBchickeninpackage

A new study by the Institute of Food Research has shown how the bacteria Campylobacter uses "chicken juice" to persist in the food chain, attaching to surfaces and forming biofilms that make it more impervious to cleaning. Helen Brown, a Ph.D. student at the Institute, led the study. Scientists collected liquids produced from defrosting chickens, and found that Campylobacter used those liquids to form biofilms just like Salmonella bacteria, which are special structures that help the bacteria protect the colony from environmental threats. Brown said in a statement, "we have discovered that this increase in biofilm formation was due to chicken juice coating the surfaces we used with a protein-rich film. This film then makes it much easier for the Campylobacter bacteria to attach to the … [Read more...]

Campylobacter’s 2013 Toll: 845,000 Cases, $1 Billion, 162 Deaths

Campylobacter

When dozens of Wisconsin high school students developed Campylobacter infections after attending a football team banquet, it didn't take health officials long to trace the source of the illness to raw milk provided by a parent who did not disclose its lack of pasteurization. Raw milk and poultry are often associated with Campylobacter, a pathogen that causes more damage than most people realize. Campylobacter is transmitted when food or beverages contaminated with animal feces are consumed. Symptoms of an infection, called campylobacteriosis, include diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea and vomiting. In rare cases, a complication called Guillain-Barré syndrome can develop. Guillain-Barré causes weakness and paralysis and can occur several weeks after … [Read more...]

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