October 15, 2019

New CDC Study Shows Increase in Raw Milk-Associated Outbreaks

A new study published December 10, 2014 in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal shows that the average number of yearly outbreaks due to drinking raw milk more than quadrupled from the last study conducted eight years ago. There was an average of three outbreaks every year during the time period of 1993 to 2006. During the time period of 2007 to 2012, there were 13 outbreaks every year. Overall, there were 81 outbreaks associated with raw milk from 2007 to 2012. Almost 1,000 people were sickened and 73 hospitalized as a result of their illnesses. And more than 80% of the outbreaks occurred in states where raw milk sales are legal. As more states allow the sale of raw milk, outbreaks are rapidly increasing. Eight states have legalized … [Read more...]

Is Drinking Raw Milk a Right?

Is drinking raw milk a right? Raw milk advocates in Wisconsin say that's a question they want the state Supreme Court to decide and they say they plan to file petitions this week to make that happen. Because it is considered a public health risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans the interstate sale or distribution of raw milk. Any milk sold across state lines must be pasteurized. Although the FDA advises that states also allow the sale of pasteurized milk only, each state is free to determine its own raw milk regulations. Seventeen states have a complete ban. They include: Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan,Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and West Virginia.  Eleven states allow … [Read more...]

Raw Milk and Children, A Dangerous Combination

An E. coli outbreak in Kentucky has sickened five children, four of whom are hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening condition that strikes young E.coli patients. The outbreak is the latest example of how children are disproportionately affected by illnesses associated with raw milk products and more likely than adults to suffer severe illness. This preventable, undue burden of illness on children is "primarily related to misinformation regarding the purported benefits of these raw dairy products," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. For example, some raw milk advocates claim that raw milk can cure asthma, allergies and lactose intolerance. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. What science has shown, is that raw milk … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium in Raw Milk Sickens 2 in Idaho

Cryptosporidium in raw goat milk from Treasured Sunrise Farm in Parma, Idaho has sickened at least two people. Consumers who have purchased raw goat milk from the farm on or after August 24 should not drink it. The milk was sold in stores in Boise, Caldwell, Ketchum, and Star. Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is spread when microscopic amounts of feces from an infected human or animal are ingested. It takes fewer than 10 organisms to cause an infection. Outbreaks are commonly associated with water parks and daycare centers. There isn't a drug that effectively treats a cryptosporidium infection which puts immune compromised individuals at significant risk. Symptoms, which usually develop between two and 10 days of exposure, include: watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, … [Read more...]

Utah Campylobacter Outbreak Linked to Ropelato Dairy Raw Milk

Public health officials in Utah are investigating an outbreak of Campylobacter illnesses associated with the consumption of raw milk. So far, 45 people have been diagnosed with the infection. Those people said they consumed raw milk the week before they got sick. Cases have been reported from Cache, Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties. Two cases have been reported from out of state residents who live in California and Idaho. The illness onset dates range from May 9, 2014 to July 21, 2014. The case patients range in age from 2 to 74 years. All of the cases are linked to the consumption of raw milk or cream purchased at Ropelato Dairy in Weber County. The license of that dairy to sell raw milk was suspended on August 4, 2014 after tests of raw milk samples at the farm … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Farmer Dodges Justice

Michael Hartman, a farmer from Gibbon, Minnesota sells raw milk. He sells it without a license and seemingly without worry about causing another outbreak like the one four years ago that gave 12 people who drank his milk E.coli poisoning. Hartman made a plea deal to get charges related to the outbreak dropped, but that doesn't change the facts. The specific strain of E. coli0157:H7  taken from those poisoned by the milk was also found in cows and at multiple sites at the Hartmann farm. The genetic fingerprint for the that strain of E. coli had never been previously found in Minnesota. The October 2012 plea deal stipulated that Hartman comply with state licensing and labeling laws that forbid the off-farm sale of raw milk and put him on unsupervised probation for six months. He was … [Read more...]

E. coli in Raw Milk Sickens 2 in MI

E. coli O157:H7 in raw milk produced by an Ottawa County cow share has sickened two people in West Michigan, health authorities say. A 6 year old girl and a 31 year old woman both reported drinking unpasteurized milk from the cow share before becoming ill. The sale of raw milk is not legal in Michigan, so raw milk enthusiasts establish cow share programs as a way around the law. Cow share or herd shares are not licensed by the state and not inspected. Health departments from three counties, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon issued a joint press release about the illnesses. Pasteurized products are the safer alternatives to raw, health officials said in the statement. Pregnant women, infants, small children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses  are at high risk for foodborne … [Read more...]

Listeria Found in Raw Milk Sold in Brookings, SD

Listeria has been found in a sampling of  raw milk from Jerseydale Farms near Brookings, S.D., according to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA).  The agency is warning consumers  to discard raw milk recently purchased from this farm as it could contain Listeria, a bacteria that causes serious, sometimes life-threatening illness. Those most at risk for Listeria infection, called listeriosis, are pregnant women, young children, seniors and individuals with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. A person with listeriosis may have a headache, stiff neck, fever, muscle aches and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. Confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can also occur. Rules governing the sale of raw milk vary from state … [Read more...]

1 in 6 Raw Milk Drinkers Gets Food Poisoning, Study Says

One of every six people who drinks raw milk gets food poisoning, according to a new study from officials at the Minnesota Department of Health.  That percentage is much higher than the number of cases reported in relation to outbreaks associated with raw milk and, researchers say, it's increasing even as some states push to relax raw milk regulations. To get a better idea of the number of illnesses associated with raw milk, (milk that has not been pasteurized) researchers looked at a decade of data on sporadic, or non outbreak-related, illnesses from food poisoning bacteria and parasites reported in Minnesota, one of 30 states where the sale of raw milk is legal. They found that, from 2001 to 2010, 530 people or about 3.7 percent of those sickened by food poisoning bacteria such as … [Read more...]

McBee Dairy Farm in TN Linked to E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

The Tennessee Department of Health has announced that the strain of E. coli O157:H7 that sickened nine children has been matched to animal waste collected at the McBee dairy farm in Mascot, Tennessee that produced the milk. This is a DNA match that proves that the pathogenic bacteria that made the children sick came from the farm. Five of the nine children sickened in this outbreak were hospitalized. Three of them developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of a shiga toxin-producting E. coli bacteria that can cause kidney failure, strokes, seizures, and death. The investigation conducted by public health officials included an on-site inspection of the farm, interviews of the 88 households that purchased milk from the farm, and lab analysis of milk and other … [Read more...]

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