January 27, 2020

Possible Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak at McBee Dairy Farm in Tennessee

A possible E. coli outbreak is associated with raw milk sold from McBee Dairy Farm in Mascot, Tennessee. WATE TV is reporting that several children have been sickened by the pathogenic bacteria. At least three children have been hospitalized.

Cows (1)Consumers have been advised to stop drinking the raw cow and goat milk from that farm. The Knox County Health Department is contacting anyone who may have purchased these products. Raw milk sales are legal in Tennessee, as long as the consumer “owns” the cow through cow-share agreements.

E. coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Listeria bacteria are found in raw milk. Those at greatest risk for serious illness from these bacteria include the very young, elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems. From 1998 to 2011, there have been 148 outbreaks linked to raw milk, sickening 2,384 people and causing 284 hospitalizations and two deaths.

Unfortunately, 82% of those outbreaks involved at least one person younger than the age of 20. And since many food poisoning cases are not reported, the actual number of illness associated with raw milk is most likely higher than those numbers. Since the bacteria are not evenly distributed in raw milk, and the presence of the bacteria is unpredictable, some people never get sick when they consume unpasteurized milk, while others may get sick the first time they try it.

Comments

  1. Betsy Thomas says

    Why hasn’t this article been updated? The tests on the milk from McBee Dairy Farm came back NEGATIVE…AGAIN! The strain of E. coli in these children was not even common to milk. Stop picking on dairy farmers!

    • Linda Larsen says

      Actually, just a few minutes ago the Knox County Health Department said the cases DID come from the dairy. Raw milk is a very common source of E. coli. Telling the truth is not “picking on” anyone.

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