Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Organic Pastures Unpasteurized, Raw Milk and Colostrum From Cows 2006

Two children were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a kidney and blood complication of E.coli O157:H7 infection. Both children had consumed raw cow milk in the week prior to their illness. Four additional illnesses in children who had consumed raw cow, or colostrum, were identified during the following three weeks. The E.coli strain isolated from four of the children matched by genetic fingerprinting technique. The source of the milk was a single California dairy, Organic Pastures. This was a dairy that had been licensed to sell raw milk throughout California at retail stores and also sold raw milk nationwide via internet sales under a single brand name. Milk samples from the milk production suspected in the outbreak were not available for testing. Other product samples were tested and found not to contain E.coli O157:H7, however standard total coliform and fecal coliform counts were very high in the samples. At the time of the outbreak, California did not have a coliform standard for raw milk sold to consumers. In response to this outbreak, the state of California enacted legislation setting a limit of 10 coliforms/mL. In January, 2009 the U.S. government in a civil action against Organic Pastures,requested a permanent injunction stopping all interstate sales of raw milk for human or pet consumption. The government pointed out that the health claims made by Organic Pastures were not supported by actual fact.

  • Outbreak began:
  • September 2006
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Dairy, Colostrum Dairy, Milk, Unpasteurized, Raw Milk
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • EXHX01.3520/EXHA26.1383
  • Location(s):
  • Internet, Retail stores
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Yes
  • Total ill:
  • 6
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 4
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 2
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 3
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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