December 16, 2019

K-Bar Dairy Allowed to Sell Raw Milk Again After Brucella Outbreak

K-Bar Dairy in Wise County, Texas, is allowed to sell raw milk again after a Brucella outbreak was associated with their products. Public health officials are investigating Brucella illnesses in seven states in connection with this issue.

Milking Cow Wet Floor

Last month, officials warned anyone who consumed raw milk or raw milk products between June 1 and August 14, 2017 contact their doctors and get antibiotic treatments after Brucella bacteria was found in K-Bar Dairy’s raw milk. This rare strain of Brucella causes serious illness, and can cause chronic conditions such as heart problems, enlargement of the liver or spleen, nervous system conditions, and arthritis.

Testing conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Lab found that two cows in the herd were shedding Brucella in their milk. Those cows were separated from the rest of the herd. Subsequent testing of milk from the rest of the cows has shown no evidence of Brucella bacteria in the milk or equipment. DSHS will test K-Bar Dairy’s milk for Brucella periodically for up to one year.

It is illegal to sell raw milk across state lines. But records from the dairy showed that people from California, North Dakota, and other states bought products from them. There are more than 800 households who have bought K-Bar raw milk across the country. Investigators have been trying to contact these households, and are concerned that there are people who have been exposed to this harmful bacteria who don’t know about this problem.

K-Bar recalled its milk and milk products after the public health investigation. Lab testing found the same strain of Brucella bacteria in one infected woman in Texas and in milk sample collected at the dairy.  That woman was hospitalized because she was so sick.

Anyone who consumed milk or milk products from that dairy during that time period this summer are “considered to be at high risk of Brucella infection and should contact their health care providers about whether they should get antibiotics to treat or prevent illness. Because Brucella can cause pregnancy complications, including miscarriage, it’s particularly important for affected pregnant women to seek medical attention,” according to the press release from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The symptoms of brucellosis include fever, sweats, headache, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, and fatigue. These symptoms can persist for a long time and can disappear and recur.

DSHS recommends that people only drink milk that has been pasteurized to protect against illnesses such as brucellosis. The risk of getting sick from these products is greater for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with comprised immune systems.

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman helps people sickened by contaminated food such as the I.M. Healthy product protect their legal rights, and get compensation and justice. Our lawyers represent patients and the families of children sickened with bacterial infections in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against raw milk dairies, retailers, food producers, food processors, restaurants, schools, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because of hemolytic uremic syndrome after she contracted an E. coli infection. Class action lawsuits may not be appropriate for outbreak victims because the cases are unique.


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