E.coli O157:H7 infections in five Organic Pastures raw milk customers

David E. Gumpert has the story, on his The Complete Patient blog:

Organic Pastures Dairy Co., the nation’s largest raw dairy said it is recalling all its raw dairy products after it was informed by public health authorities that five children were sickened by E.coli 0157:H7. Three were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The Fresno dairy is under quarantine and, according to a press release from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, “Until further notice, Organic Pastures may not produce raw milk products for the retail market. The order also affects Organic Pastures raw butter, raw cream, raw colostrum, and a raw product labeled ‘Qephor.'”

The CDFA release added,  “Interviews with the families indicate that the only common reported food exposure is unpasteurized (raw) milk from Organic Pastures dairy. Three of the five children were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that may lead to kidney failure. There have been no deaths. Surveys indicate that only about three percent of the public report drinking raw milk in any given week so finding 100% of these children drank raw milk and the absence of other common foods or animal exposures indicates the Organic Pastures raw milk is the likely source of their infection. ”

Two of the children were reported by the authorities to still be hospitalized, according to OPDC’s owner, Mark McAfee.

He said he was notified at noon today by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Food and Agriculture that “over the course of an eight-week period” in August, September, and October, five children who had been reported to have consumed raw milk tested positive for E. Coli O157:H7….”

Read it all on The Complete Patient blog.

Editor’s note: Of course, at this point we Do NOT know the full story here, and one should be careful drawing hasty conclusions as to what exactly is going on in this case.

5 Comments

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5 responses to “E.coli O157:H7 infections in five Organic Pastures raw milk customers

  1. thebovine

    From a post on the Support Michael Schmidt Facebook page:

    California Department of Food & Ag Recalls OPDC Raw Milk Products

    Organic Pastures is dedicated to the health of families across California. It is our first priority and goal to consistently provide the highest quality and safest raw milk products to all of our consumers. Our dedication to safe clean raw milk reaches far beyond required State of California standards.

    Organic Pastures was informed earlier this afternoon by the California Department of Public Health and California Department of Food and Agriculture that over the course of an eight-week period earlier this year, five people tested positive for E. Coli O157:H7; these five consumers reported drinking raw milk.

    It is a common goal of Organic Pastures and the California Department of Public Health to rapidly investigate any linkage between these cases and raw milk. Each month CDFA tests all Organic Pastures’ products for pathogens, in addition Organic Pastures uses a third-party for pathogen testing multiple times per week. All these tests have been negative. It has been reported to us by the California Department of Public Health that as of today all products collected from the ill patients have been negative for E. Coli 0157:H7.

    Organic Pastures, in a collaborative effort with the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is diligently working to quickly resolve this investigation. During this time our raw dairy products will not be available for sale. Our USDA Organic Beef, Truly Raw Cheese, and Organic Pastured Eggs will not be affected by this investigation.

    As a family owned company, my wife and I would like to reach out to the families of these affected loved ones. Our heart goes out to them for a speedy recovery.

    Organic Pastures’ Facebook, Twitter, and website will be updated as more information becomes available.

    PRESS CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT ORGANIC PASTURES DAIRY
    NOVEMBER 16TH, 2011 AT 12:00 PM

    Contact: Kaleigh Lutz (Marketing-Brand/PR) 559.903.2745 or kaleigh.l@organicpastures.com
    Contact: Marcy Oliver (Marketing Coordinator) 559.269.4927 or marcy.o@organicpastures.com

    Organic Pastures Dairy
    7221 South Jameson
    Fresno, CA 93706

    Helpful Links:
    http://www.organicpastures.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Organic-Pastures-Dairy-RAW-DAIRY-PRODUCTS/171911861180?sk=wall
    http://twitter.com/#!/OrganicPastures

  2. nedlud

    Since this all happened at the ‘nation’s largest raw dairy’, we can only assume that it was not large enough.

    Further, this is obvious evidence, that more regulation is needed, more laboratory testing should be on the docket and there must be greater enforcement of that regulation and much heavier punishment for failure to meet the new and more’select’ standards. This would especially apply to the smaller producers.

  3. For any other food (EXCEPT RAW MILK), authorities actually test and prove that the product in question is/was contaminated with the matching strain (i.e. hazelnuts, spinach, etc.) before accusing farmers and removing their products from the shelves. With an average of about 250 cases of E. Coli 0157:H7 in California each year, the 5 infected children mentioned here would be part of over 60 cases during the same 3-month period. Authorities are being deceitful in stating that 100% of the 5 infected children drank OPDC milk – as if these children were the only cases over the 3-month period. So what about the other 55 people? Folks, this is not a causal relationship; it’s hogwash.

  4. Annie Bartley

    Don’t blow off any thing that has to do with our nations children off as “hogwash”… I tend to become concerned when I hear “large raw milk dairy”, I tend to lean towards the smaller rancher where its easier to keep touch with things.. But we have to face it NOTHING is perfect!! However we can learn to do things better or different, Lets hope they get some unbiased and honest researchers in there and get to the bottom of this event. Our children deserve our best efforts. “Education is the key!”

  5. Pingback: Targeted antibacterial proteins may offer antibiotic alternative « Health and Medical News and Resources

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