KGW reports that an E. coli outbreak, apparently linked to unpasteurized milk, has sickened several children in Clark County, Washington. The children are between the ages of five and 14, with two of the children hospitalized in unstable condition.
Health officials said they believe the common source of the infections is unpasteurized, or raw, milk consumed from the Dee Creek Dairy in Cowlitz County.
In Washington state, raw milk sales are legal if the farm is licensed through the state, which requires monthly testing of the milk and inspection of the farm and milk bottling room. Also, each bottle must contain a warning label stating “WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria,” in addition to a few other cautionary phrases.
Six dairies in the state are licensed to sell Grade A raw milk, including Dee Creek.
The Clark County E. coli outbreak is the third in Washington state over the past several years linked to raw milk.