The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Wednesday named Stroupe Farm in Howard County as the possible source of an ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in central Missouri.

The health department has also narrowed their outbreak investigation from 15 cases down to 12, removing the three cases that do not share similar lab results, geographic proximity or case history. 

Eight of the 12 individuals reported consuming raw milk or raw milk products from Stroupe Farm. Of the other four, two are related to people who consumed raw milk, while the remaining two have infections that genetically match the others despite the individuals reporting no connection to raw dairy.

According to food safety lawyer Bill Marler, whose law firm underwrites Food Safety News, the fact that individuals do not report consuming raw dairy does not always mean they have no connection.

“In my experience, either people don’t know they consumed raw dairy products or they’re not being truthful to investigators out of a sense of protecting the farmer,” he said.

Early in the investigation, the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory analyzed eight samples of products from the farm, all of which test negative for E. coli O157:H7. Regardless, the owner of the farm has discontinued the sale of raw dairy products, according to state health department spokeswoman Gena Terlizzi.

A 2-year-old who consumed raw milk products has been hospitalized for more than two weeks after developing symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kidney disease associated with severe E. coli infections.

The health department is still investigating the outbreak.

  • Kathy Austin

    I would defend Sam Stroupe 100% when it comes to these silly complaints of his milk being the cause of someone getting e coli! I have consumed Sam’s milk,and long ago his yogurt, for 15 to 20 years and never once was there any question about any kind of illness. I am very tired of the government stepping into my kitchen and telling me what I can and can’t eat or drink. Before I ever even considered buying milk from Mr. Stroupe I went to his dairy to see what it was like…was it clean…was everything in order? I would never have purchased milk from him had there been any hint of a problem! Since Mr. Stoupe is no longer selling milk I am no longer drinking milk. Pasturized/homogonized milk tastes terrible after having the real thing for so many years! Shame on all of you for forcing this man out of business! Shame on all of you for stopping the free enterprise system! Shame on you!!!