Michael Hartmann, the 59-year-old Minnesota dairy farmer, is in more trouble over charges involving the sale of unpasteurized milk.
It was just last October that Hartmann was putting legal problems behind with a plea bargain that saw him plead guilty to just two misdemeanor counts, one for illegally selling raw milk and raw milk products and the other for selling other foods, such as beef and pork, without food licenses.
In the plea deal, other counts against Hartmann, his wife Diane and brother Roger and business associate Linda Schultz were all dropped by state prosecutors. Hartmann agreed to a $585 fine and unsupervised probation for six months and further promised he’d comply with state licensing and labeling laws.
He did not make it. In January, the Gibbon dairyman was charged with delivering raw milk to customers in the Twin Cities. After that, state investigators discovered 300 gallons of bottled raw milk during a search of the Hartmann farm.
Hartmann was charged with three more violations: selling raw milk, mislabeling food products and selling food without a license.
The raw milk dairy has been under scrutiny since 2010 when its products were associated with a dozen illnesses, including E. coli infections.
Hartmann’s farm lost its Grade A diary license in 2001. While Minnesota only allows pasteurized milk to be sold within its borders, the one exception is milk that is “occasionally secured or bought for personal use by any consumer at the farm where the milk is produced.”
On-farm sales are not allowed to extend to front door deliveries to people who live in the city.© Food Safety News