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Organic Pastures Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak (2011)

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak prompted a quarantine and recall of Organic Pastures raw milk products in November, 2011. According to California health officials, at least 5 children became ill with E. coli infections between August and October after drinking Organic Pastures raw milk. The same strain of E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from the five children, who are residents of Contra Costa, Kings, Sacramento, and San Diego counties.

Three of the five children who developed E. coli infections after consuming Organic Pastures raw milk were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a complication of E. coli infection that can lead to kidney failure.

Organic Pastures Products Were Recalled for Potential E. coli Contamination

Under the recall, all Organic Pastures raw dairy products with the exception of cheese aged a minimum of 60 days were pulled from retail shelves and consumers were strongly urged to dispose of any products remaining in their refrigerators. The order affected Organic Pastures raw milk, raw butter, raw cream, raw colostrum, and a raw product labeled “Qephor.”

Epidemiologic data collected by the California Department of Public Health linked the illnesses with Organic Pastures raw milk.

According to a California Department of Food and Agriculture press release issued November 15, 2011, CDFA milk and dairy foods safety experts conducted a complete inspection at Organic Pastures dairy. All aspects of operations, from the cows to the bottling plant, were inspected.

Prior E. coli Outbreak Linked to Organic Pastures Raw Milk Products

In In September of 2006, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) determined that Organic Pastures raw milk products were the source of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak among six children; two developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

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