E. coli illnesses traced to raw milk from Minnesota farm

Minnesota Department of Health types have linked three cases of E. coli O157:H7 illness with raw milk from a dairy farm in Gibbon, Minn and are urging anyone who may have recently purchased milk from the Hartmann Dairy Farm, also known as M.O.M.’s, to discard the product and not consume it.

The milk may be labeled organic and consumers may be unaware that the milk has not been pasteurized. In addition, consumers should not eat cheese, ice cream or other dairy products from the farm, which also may have been made from raw, unpasteurized milk.

The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture are continuing to investigate a cluster of four E. coli O157:H7 illnesses that all have the same “pulsed field gel electrophoresis” (PFGE) patterns, or DNA fingerprint. Three of the four cases report a link to milk from Hartmann Farm; the fourth case is under investigation. Three of the four people were hospitalized as a result of their illness; one case has developed HUS.

Fox9 reports that Wisconsin nearly passed a bill that would have loosened the restrictions on the sale of raw milk, but Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed the bill, stating,

"I recognize that there are strong feelings on both sides of this matter, but on balance, I must side with the interests of public health and the safety of the dairy industry."