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Claravale Dairy Campylobacter Outbreak

On March 4, 2015 public health investigators at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) received notification from Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency that three county residents were laboratory confirmed with Campylobacter jejuni. All three patients had consumed Claravale Farm brand raw milk purchased at different local markets prior to symptom onset. Enhanced surveillance for additional case-patients was implemented in California.

Staff from the CDPH Food and Drug Branch (FDB) collected nine bottles of Claravale Farm raw milk from retail locations in Berkeley, Davis, and Sacramento on March 4. These samples were tested at the CDPH Food and Drug Laboratory. A team from FDB visited the Claravale Farm in Paicines, California on March 5. The team collected environmental samples including swabs, cow feces, and milk ready for market.

On March 22, 2015 the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced a recall and quarantine of raw milk, raw nonfat milk, and raw cream produced by Claravale Farm. The quarantine order was issued after Campylobacter was detected in Claravale Farm’s raw milk and raw cream samples.

On March 24, 2015 CDPH issued a warning to consumers about Claravale Farm raw milk. As many as six Northern California residents had become ill with Campylobacter after consuming Claravale Farm raw milk products. Patients and milk isolates were indistinguishable by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Illness onsets in the six patients ranged between February 15 and February 23, 2015. The outbreak was assigned California outbreak code 1504CA2DBR-1.

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