April 17, 2012

2 Min Read
Oregon Officials Confirm E. coli in Raw Milk From Farm

PORTLAND, Ore.The Oregon Public Health Division announced laboratory tests on raw milk produced at the Foundation Farm in Clackamas County tested positive for the same strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7 that sickened 17 people and hospitalized four children this month. Three of the children have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening form of kidney failure.

As reported by Oregon Live, health officials said multiple tests found E. coli O157:H7 in the milk, manure and the cows. Foundation Farm distributes raw milk to 48 households that are part of a herd-share agreement where individuals contract to take ownership of a portion of a herd or individual animals. Foundation Farm voluntarily ceased its milk distribution last week after the Oregon Public Health Division issued a consumer alert.

The raw milk movement has gained momentum over the past few years as consumers want the freedom to rebel against the industrialized by drinking locally grown, natural products but are being prevented from doing so by laws that prohibit the sale of raw milk.

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found the rate of outbreaks caused by raw milk and products made from it was 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk. The 13-year review also revealed that the states where the sale of raw milk was legal had more than twice the rate of outbreaks as states where it was illegal. Raw milk product outbreaks also lead to much more severe illnesses, and disproportionately affected people under age 20. In the raw milk outbreaks with known age breakdowns, 60% of patients were younger than age 20, compared to 23% in outbreaks from pasteurized products. Children are more likely than adults to get seriously ill from the bacteria in raw milk.

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