The state of California has released a retail distribution list of stores that sold Organic Pastures raw milk milk that is linked to an E. coli O157 outbreak. That list is eleven pages long and includes many health food stores and natural food coops.
The California Department of Public Health has confirmed to Food Poisoning Bulletin that an outbreak linked to Organic Pastures raw milk has sickened at least six people, some of them children. None of the patients’ names or locations have been released by state officials.
All of the illnesses occurred in January, and the investigation is ongoing. Some news reports have stated that two more people are sick in this outbreak, but the California Department of Public Health did not get back to us by press time to confirm or deny this number.
If you purchased Organic Pastures raw milk with “use by” dates of 1/23/16 (lot code 20160105-1) and 1/26/16 (lot code 20160106-2), do not consume it. Discard it in a sealed container so other people and animals can’t get at it, or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Outbreaks linked to raw milk are common. And Organic Pastures has had many recalls, quarantines imposed by the state, and some outbreaks over the years, including a recall for Campylobacter in October 2015, and a Campylobacter outbreak in 2012 that sickened at least ten people, most of them children.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include abdominal cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. If you have consumed recalled Organic Pastures raw milk and have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor. An E. coli infection can be life-threatening.
In some people, especially children under the age of 5, a shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection can develop into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition that can cause kidney failure, strokes, gall stones, blindness, and death. The symptoms of HUS include little to no urine output, pale skin, a skin rash, lethargy, bleeding from the nose and mouth, and unexplained bruises. Anyone suffering from these symptoms should be taken to a doctor immediately.