Raw milk bottling restarts at Idaho dairy after Campylobacter, E.coli scare

By Mark ASTLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Additional tests on Natural Farm Fresh Dairy "came back clean,” the company said earlier today (Image: Facebook/Natural Farm Fresh Dairy)
Additional tests on Natural Farm Fresh Dairy "came back clean,” the company said earlier today (Image: Facebook/Natural Farm Fresh Dairy)

Related tags: Pasteurization, Milk

Operations at Natural Farm Fresh Dairy in Idaho have recommenced after officials probing a link between raw milk and a number of illnesses gave it the all-clear. 

On October 20, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said officials were investigating eight illnesses - four cases of Campylobacter and four cases of E.coli 0157:H7 - “likely associated”​ with the consumption of unpasteurized milk from Natural Farm Fresh Dairy.

All those affected reported drinking Natural Farm Fresh Dairy raw milk a week prior to falling ill, it said. 

Working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Natural Farm Fresh Dairy immediately recalled products, brought a halt to distribution, and suspended production.

It wrote on Facebook​ earlier today, however, that it has recommenced operations. 

“We are pleased to be bottling again,"​ it wrote on Facebook. "All of our test results came back clean.” 

“We will be delivering tomorrow as usual. Plan to see your favourite raw milk back on the shelf as soon as Wednesday morning.”

The interstate sale of unpasteurized milk for human consumption is currently prohibited in the US. 

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), raw milk “can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks."

However, within the borders of many US states, including Idaho, California, Washington, Pennsylvania and Utah, the sale of unpasteurized milk for human consumption is permitted. 

In 2013, the FDA rejected a 2008 petition filed by California-based Organic Pastures Dairy to amend CFR 1240.61 - the regulation that prohibits the distribution of dairy products made from unpasteurized milk across US state lines.

CDFA-lifts-Organic-Pastures-raw-milk-quarantine-after-further-Campylobacter-tests_strict_xxl
The CDFA ordered the recall after Campylobacter was detected in a single sample of Organic Pastures Dairy raw whole milk.

Earlier this month, Organic Pastures Dairy said quarantined Grade A raw milk would return to shelves in California after a Campylobacter scare. 

Days earlier, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) ordered the recall of Organic Pastures Dairy Grade A raw milk with the date code October 24 after “the confirmed detection of Campylobacter bacteria”​ in a single sample.

No other Organic Pastures Dairy products were affected by the recall and no illnesses were reported.  

In a October 20 Facebook post, Organic Pastures Dairy said the CDFA was preparing to lift the quarantine on its Grade A raw milk after a variety of Organic Pastures Dairy products tested negative for the foodborne pathogen.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Fresh Milk

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