October 23, 2018

Illinois Changing Rules for On-Farm Unpasteurized Milk Sales

The state of Illinois published a rule change for on-farm unpasteurized milk sales in January. Now raw milk advocates are objecting to three requirements in the proposed change.

Raw milk ListeriaThe changes include limiting on-farm sales to 100 gallons per month per farm. The dairies that sell raw milk must purchase equipment so their product meets Grade A certification requirements. And dairy farms would have to keep a log of customer names and numbers. The changes would also prohibit herd-sharing. In Illinois, the sale of raw milk is outlawed except directly to consumers on the farm under certain production regulations.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has published a paper titled “Risks Associated with Consumption of Unpasteurized Dairy Products“. In its Healthbeat newsletter, public health officials warn people about the danger of drinking unpasteurized milk and products made from unpasteurized milk. The bacteria that are found in raw milk include Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, and Yersinia. The newsletter states “illnesses due to these bacteria can lead to diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, and vomiting. Illness can be severe in people with weakened immune system, such as the elderly, children, people with cancer, organ transplant recipients or individuals with HIV/AIDS. Bacteria found in raw milk and raw dairy products can be especially dangerous to pregnant women and their unborn babies.”

There were six outbreaks linked to unpasteurized milk in the U.S. in 2012. A Campylobacter outbreak from Organic Pastures in California sickened 10 people. Raw milk from Foundation Farm in Oregon sickened 21 people with E. coli O157:H7, and four children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Stroupe Farm in Missouri was linked to a raw milk outbreak that sickened 14 with E. coli; one child developed HUS. Claravale Farm in California was the source of Campylobacter in raw milk that sickened 9 people. Campylobacter in raw milk sickened 80 in an outbreak linked to Family Cow in Pennsylvania. And Campylobacter in raw milk sickened 18 in an outbreak in Kansas. There have been two raw milk outbreaks so far in 2013.

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