About E. coli

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About E. coli Blog

Organic Pastures Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak 2011 and 2006

OrganicPastures.jpgNovember 2011

According to a California State Department of Health release, raw milk products produced by Organic Pastures of Fresno County are the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order.

Under the recall, all Organic Pastures raw dairy products with the exception of cheese aged a minimum of 60 days are to be pulled immediately from retail shelves and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any products remaining in their refrigerators. 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 quarantine order came following a notification from the California Department of Public Health of a cluster of five children who were infected, from August through October, with the same strain of E. coli O157:H7. These children are residents of Contra Costa, Kings, Sacramento, and San Diego counties. 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.

While laboratory samples of Organic Pastures raw milk have not detected E. coli O157:H7 contamination, epidemiologic data collected by the California Department of Public Health link the illnesses with Organic Pastures raw milk.

September 2006

Raw milk produced by Organic Pastures of Fresno County is the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order.

Under the recall, all Organic Pastures whole and skim raw milk is to be pulled immediately from retail shelves and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators. Until further notice, Organic Pastures may not produce raw milk for the retail market. The order also affects Organic Pastures raw cream and raw colostrum.

The quarantine order came following a report that raw milk caused bacterial illness in a 10-year old girl in San Bernardino County. An investigation by the California Department of Health Services detected two additional bacterial illnesses in children consuming raw milk, one a 7-year old Riverside County boy, and the other an 8-year old San Diego County girl.

Doctors treating the children have identified the bacteria as E. coli O157:H7. While laboratory samples of Organic Pastures raw milk have not detected E. coli O157:H7 contamination, epidemiologic data collected by the Department of Health Services points to a link with Organic Pastures raw milk. Additional laboratory samples of Organic Pastures raw milk are pending.

It is not believed there is any connection with the recent E. coli O157:H7 contamination in fresh spinach. Typing of lab samples from one of the children shows a different strain than the one found in the spinach outbreak.

Of the three afflicted children, one has been hospitalized and released. The other two remain hospitalized.

Five years apart, but eerily similar.  For a bit(e) of history:

FYI – Organic Pastures Dairy E. coli O157:H7 Raw Milk Product Outbreak 2006

And – Organic Pastures – “Where There is Smoke, There is Fire.”

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