A Longmont, Colorado goat dairy that has been ordered to stop distributing raw milk products after 16 people became ill after drinking milk. Two children who drank goat milk from the Billy Goat Dairy required hospitalization, Boulder County Public Health reported Wednesday. Of the people who reported becoming ill from consuming the milk products, lab tests confirmed the presence of Campylobacter and E. coli O157:H7, the health department said.
Health department officials in Minnesota this month reported five E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to drinking raw milk from a dairy in Gibbon, Minnesota. All of the sick were infected with a strain of bacteria that has the same “pulsed field gel electrophoresis” (PFGE) pattern, or DNA fingerprint. One infected child developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a potentially deadly complication.
Counting Colorado and Minnesota, there have now been at least ten outbreaks of illness tied to raw milk since January 2010. The other states with outbreaks include Nevada, Utah (two outbreaks), New York, and Pennsylvania. There was also a multistate outbreak with illnesses confirmed in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Washington has had two as well. And, even worse, these outbreaks involved at least three different pathogens: E. coli O157:H7; Salmonella, and Campylobacter. More specifically:
• In January, a dairy farm in New York was linked to five Campylobacter infections.
• Another outbreak of Campylobacter was reported in February in Pennsylvania. State health officials there said approximately ten people became ill after drinking raw milk. One of the ill developed Guillain – Barre Syndrome, became paralyzed, and is still hospitalized.
• In March, raw milk caused at least seventeen Campylobacter infections in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana.
• In April, Utah was the site of Salmonella and Campylobacter outbreaks tied to raw milk. The first cluster included nine reported cases of Campylobacter infection. The second cluster included six reported cases of Salmonella.
• In May, Nevada health officials reported that a child became seriously ill with a Campylobacter infection after eating homemade raw milk cheese that was illegally sold door-to-door.
• Washington has had two E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks both linked to the same dairy.
Raw Milk Dairy is having a problem and it needs to be fixed.