At least 10 people infected with Campylobacter in California reported drinking Organic Pastures raw milk prior to becoming ill, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said Thursday.  


Raw milk, raw skim milk (non-fat), raw cream and raw butter produced by the Fresno County dairy have been recalled and are subject to a quarantine order imposed by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Whiteford.

Whiteford issued the quarantine order after Campylobacter was detected in Organic Pastures raw cream, according to a news release

“Consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any Organic Pastures products of these types remaining in their refrigerators, and retailers are to pull those products immediately from their shelves,” public health officials wrote in the statement.

According to CDPH, six of the 10 people sickened are under 18.  All 10 range in age from nine months to 38 years old; median age is 11.5 years. None of those sickened have been hospitalized. The outbreak cases reside in Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Santa Clara counties.

Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures owner, says he believes the test results are incorrect and has requested a hearing with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Organic Pastures has been linked to several past outbreaks of pathogen infection and recalled its unpasteurized dairy products for fecal-pathogen contamination in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011. In 2006, the raw milk dairy was the subject of a quarantine order after six children became ill with E. coli infections – two experienced kidney failure from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

In November 2011, the state ordered a recall of Organic Pastures raw milk products and placed the farm on quarantine after five boys who drank unpasteurized milk from the dairy were infected with E. coli O157:H7. Environmental samples collected at Organic Pastures yielded E. coli 0157:H7  indistinguishable from the bacteria infecting the boys. Three of the children were hospitalized with HUS.

In its news release Thursday, CDPH said it identified 10 people with Campylobacter infection linked to Organic Pastures milk from January through April 30 this year.

This is the sixth outbreak in the U.S. associated with unpasteurized dairy products since the start of 2012.

So far this year, at least 18 people have been sickened by Campylobacter from raw goat milk sold in Kansas, 80 people became ill from Campylobacter-contaminated raw cow milk produced by a Pennsylvania farm, and 9 were infected by Campylobacter from raw milk products sold by a San Benito County, CA dairy. Fourteen E. coli O157:H7 infections have been linked to raw cow milk in central Missouri and a raw milk outbreak in Oregon has sickened 19 people with E. coli O157:H7 infections, one with Cryptosporidium and one with Campylobacter.

  • Mary, wouldn’t you ordinarily seek comment from the company being ordered to do the recall? I happen to know that Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures has a different view than the CDFA, per this report:

  • Ted

    Please Mary, do get McAfees’s latest line of deceptive BS complete with wild CDFA conspiracy theory! We need a good laugh for the weekend.

  • Jemima

    Dang it all. Just when OPDC smooth operator Mark McAfee had all of us so wonderfully hornswoggled into believing he had all the easy answers. His raw milk was so reliably magic it could never, ever harbor nasty bugs. Mark had all his bogus RAMP and his devious RAWMI and his bottomless cesspit of patronizing BS. Too bad the authorities cannot protect the public health by shutting down this blatant mountebank once and for all.

  • Mary, wouldn’t you ordinarily seek comment from the company being ordered to do the recall? I happen to know that Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures has a different view than the CDFA, per this report:

  • Cara

    The jury is still out. Why not cool your jets and let the investigation run its course. Of course OP has a right to prove itself innocent or admit fault. But some prefer to run a witchhunt and close him down regardless. Where is the justice in that? Remember, pasteurized dairy has a high incidence of causing infection and illness. How can 10 isolated cases be linked to OP over the course of 4 months when tens of thousands of consumers had this same product also?

  • Linda

    This is so bogus…awesome spin. She says people have been infected currently & in the past with bacteria & that these people reported drinking raw milk…period – two separate statements run together to look like there is a connection. She stops short of saying that the sickness was linked directly to drinking raw milk from Organic Pastures. Read it again & you’ll see the spin & how the reader assumes there is a direct connection. Too bad reporters only report sensationalism & don’t care about the truth. I double dare this author to report the news that OP raw milk is not the source of contamination after the testing is complete. Me thinks it won’t happen…what’s the fun in seeking the truth?

  • Ruby

    Funny how this never happened until the FDA went on their anti-raw milk campaign, and now it’s happening everywhere?! Something smells like rotten milk!
    I grew up on raw milk, had it not been for that raw milk, I’d not have had milk at all. I was incredibly healthy as a kid, NEVER got sick!

    • Jamie

      I agree! I am a member of 2 farms in Wisconsin each having more than 200 different consumers. (That is 400+ people!) Since I have been a member (2 years now). No one has ever gotten sick! I think these numbers are fudged!

  • Stefford

    Gosh, that Proves raw milk is safe. I spent 9 months in Afghanistan with bullets flying all around me, and yet not one hit me, thereby proving that they too are harmless!

    • Eikonal

      Well duh, none of the bullets hit you so of course they were harmless…

  • Marty1234

    Internet comes in handy
    1 march 2012 Amish children found to profoundly benefit from raw milk.
    2 dr crewe who helped found the Mayo Clinic has over 10,000 documented cases of Ill people going on a Raw Milk only diet with dramatic documented results.
    3 Germany is now having a resurgence of raw milk treatment.
    4 Ask any dentist whos pulled teeth if he can determine who drank raw milk growing up…I learned this from a friend who was in the army who was asked by his dentist who was having tremendous problems trying to pull a tooth..”You were raised on raw milk weren’t you” other patients took a couple of seconds…raw milk patients next to impossible..
    5 the Swiss Guard among the healthiest people on earth..mainly consumed raw milk.
    6 Raw milk was used to treat diabiltics pre insulin..And should be looked into today after you’ve checked it out..
    7 homogenized milk can among other things create calcium deposits throughout your body as it did to me at age eleven at which time my dr told me to stay off milk was years later i was set straight by Vince Gironde of Vince’s gym who put me on 6 quarts a day when i use to weight lift now some 35 years later I only drink 1 quart a day and quite healthy..
    7 You can live a healthy life existing on nothing but raw milk as some have done.

  • Mamita

    What I don’t understand is why this website does not address the fact that milk is not supposed to be part of the human diet after childhood. When a human baby is born, they should have HUMAN milk. After the child is weaned, cows milk should not be consumed. Really, can you picture yourself nursing from a cows tit? No? That’s because it was never meant to happen. Cows milk causes much stess in the human immune system. This website should really address the fact that the dairy group being on the food pyramid is a problem. Animals should drink animal milk and humans should drink human milk. Calcium can be obtained naturally through plant based diets.

    • Amanda Gregory

      thats a great point. cows milk is for baby cows,not humans

  • Bill Marler and everyone at Food Safety News….good afternoon.
    We had a great time at the Camping with the Cows event at OPDC last weekend. Everyone had a very real story to tell about raw milk and their change of immune system status after drinking raw milk.
    The food was excellent and the weather was perfect.
    We have just established a Food Safety Lab at OPDC and will begin to test on site to reduce the time from test to result from 2 days down to 6 hours.
    The joy experienced by our consumers is really the most rewarding thing that we could receive in payment.
    After the recall was lifted…our sales jumped again. The people do not trust a government that recommends consumption of pasteurized milk when pasteurized milk is the #1 most highly allergenic food in America ( FDA NIH website ).
    We must all rethink what safe food is. Is safe food highly allergenic???
    Is safe food immune depressing?
    Is safe food highly processed and lacking enzymes and immune building probiotic bacteria.
    Our consumers have discovered that the answer is clearly no.
    Safe foods build the immune system, are MAST cell stabilizing and reduce allergies. Safe foods are not processed and preserved.
    Raw milk market are growing like crazy…becuase of the truth and not lies.

  • It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this superb blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  • HalfACenturian

    February 2013 link: ‘Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Eggs Recalled for Salmonella Risk’Living is risky business and I’d rather risk illness from a healthy product than for fake eggs with fake chocolate.   Though I do wonder if milk is a luxury given what it takes to produce it in quantities large enough to supply our US demand and I wonder is it as healthy as some ecologically more gentle alternatives like truly raw almond milk which I am so thrilled is supported at OPDC’s web page.  🙂 !!!That being said, I am curious as to why OPDC not establish a food safety Lab sooner?  Seems doing so at all was the result of regulation and media.  I personally did not know so many people had been sickened by raw milk and I am skeptical that the reports are the result of a conspiracy on the part of the pasteurized dairy industry. It isn’t government I mistrust, it is the domination of corporate interests over public interest and privatization of the later.  The real Tea Party fought for our right to pay taxes to our government with representation rather than to royalty without representation.  Ample and fair regulation would be more prevalent if we funded and participated in our government (if we had laws as many countries do regarding universal health care, shelter, transportation and ample time off from work we’d have the time to participate).  

  • Eikonal

    Never trust a website that is trying to sell you something…