California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a report on 10/2/08 linking an outbreak of Campylobacter illnesses to unpasteurized milk from Alexandre EcoDairy Farms. The report was the result of an investigation commenced on July 14, 2008, when Dr. Thomas Martinelli, the County Health Officer for Del Norte County, California reported four cases of laboratory confirmed Campylobacter infections and five additional cases of diarrhea in Del Norte County residents. Eight of the original nine people sickened were members of the Alexandre Eco Farms “cow-leasing” program, and they had all consumed milk produced on the farm. The ninth sick person worked with cattle on the Alexandre EcoDairy Farms. One of the eight individuals who was sick, Mari Tardiff, had already been hospitalized with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), following the onset of acute gastroenteritis after consumption of the raw milk.
Del Norte County officials eventually identified 16 cases of Campylobacter jejuni associated with the outbreak. Fifteen of those were persons who consumed milk from Alexandre EcoDairy Farms. The 16th case was the farm employee. CDPH and Del Norte county officials concluded that “the available epidemiologic and laboratory data support the conclusion that this cluster of acute diarrheal illness in Del Norte County was an outbreak of C. jejuni infections caused by consumption of unpasteurized milk from [Alexandre EcoDairy Farms.]”
Raw Milk Risks: Mari Tardiff Campylobacter Illness from Marler Clark on Vimeo.