Michael and Anita Puckett, operators of the Dee Creek Farm in Woodland, have been given 24 hours to give health officials the names of people who received raw milk from their farm, according to the Associated Press.
The milk is being blamed for an outbreak of E. coli-related illness in 11 people, including nine children. In addition to the 2 adults and 9 children sickened by the milk, 3 employees of the farm also showed symptoms of infection.
The southwestern Washington farm ignored a demand in August to obtain a $55 state license to supply raw milk. They claim that they do not “sell” raw milk, but rather provide it for free to cow “shareholders” who jointly own a cow that provides the milk. The state Agriculture Department says that a “cow-share” arrangement is legal only if a state license is obtained.
The Pucketts have five cows and arranged to distribute raw milk to about 45 families. They have submitted a written statement to the court, saying they are seeking written authorization from shareholders to release their names.