Health department recalls Organic Pastures dairy products

Products from a Fresno-based organic dairy are being recalled following E. coli infections in five children, including one in San Diego County.

The unidentified 5-year-old San Diego-area boy was not hospitalized after consuming whole raw milk from Organic Pastures in late August, but three other sickened children were, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

“The California Department of Public Health investigated a cluster of five children infected by E. coli between August and October and determined the only common reported food exposure was to unpasteurized milk produced by the Organic Pastures dairy,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer. “This infection can be very serious in young children and it’s important that people dispose of any remaining Organic Pastures products in their refrigerators, with the exception of cheese that has been aged a minimum of 60 days.”

The Department of Environmental Health is working with local retailers to make sure all Organic Pastures raw milk, butter, cream, colostrums and a product labeled “Qephor” are removed from local store shelves, said Jack Miller, the DEH director.

In addition to the recall, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s state veterinarian announced a quarantine of Organic Pastures, barring the daily from producing raw milk products for the retail market until further notice.

According to the HHSA, most people get over E. coli infections in five to 10 days, but young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at risk of serious complications, and should not consume raw dairy products.

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Nov 17 2011. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

22 Comments for “Health department recalls Organic Pastures dairy products”

  1. Mark Felt

    Sad. Many families buy organic products under the premise that they are safer than non-organic equivalents. When it comes to dairy products, I wonder if pasturization of the raw milk would have prevented the E. Coli outbreak.

    • Robert Bradley


      In this case pasteurization would not have helped winced the milk is not the cause I the sickness. Ramona Family Naturals sells over 100 1/2 gallons per week. If the milk had a bad bug, ther would be a lot more than 4 kids setting sick.

      OPDC distributes nearly 76,000 1/2 gal of whole raw milk per month. This would be a bigger outbreak if it came from their milk. In fact all tests of mlk including mlk from the sickened children have shown up negative for e.coli.


    • Ann Williams

      Mark, you really should educate yourself. Thousands of people are drinking this milk every day. Lots more would have gotten sick had raw milk been the cause. I cannot drink pasteurized milk as it doesn't digest very well and causes stomach problems but raw milk gives me no problem. Pasteurization kills the enzymes that help us digest this product. I grew up drinking raw milk and never once had a serious infection. This is just the health department and big business wanting to shut down production in these dairies.

  2. Jennifer

    This article tries to make it sound like the children were sickened from the milk. Actually, this has not been proven. Tests have been done and the results come out next week. Do your research before you make a false accusation.

  3. jack

    The govt just wanted to shut them down. They have no proof that e coli came from this dairy. I drank their milk all summer and fall and didn't get ecoli. The government doesn't want you eating "live" food because they don't want you to be healthy. Healthy people don't need pharmaceutical drugs.

  4. Sonny

    How about you educate yourself before you make accusations that could likely be false. Do you even know the difference between pasture raised and organic? Didn't think so

  5. Andrea

    So true…….more people are sickened each year from pasteurized milk and you NEVER hear about it. That would be bad press for big business!! There is more E-coli & Listeria bacteria in conventional dairies' processing and holding tanks than in those of a raw milk dairy. Main reason is the cows are well care for and much healthier …..they aren't the sick, crowded and hormone injected cows of conventional dairies.

    I too have been drinking Organic Pastures milk throughout the summer and fall with no issues. If you are what you eat & drink, I'll take raw milk any day over the alternative!!!

  6. rufo

    I have drank O.P. milk for the last 4 years never had a problem. In fact i drank milk from the same batch that these kids got it from more than likely.

  7. Skye

    Organic Pastures milk is obviously not to blame for the sickened children. Organic Pastures test their milk religiously (multiple times a week), and in their entire history of production they have not ONCE tested positive for any pathogens. As someone else said, if the source of the e-coli was Organic Pastures milk many more people would have fallen sick. Including me! I drink a lot of their milk every day… and I have continued to since the recall, which is surely a move designed to demonize raw milk.

    • Devon

      Where are you getting your information? Read this article, they in fact have tested positive for E.Coli and it was the only liknk between all five children. "In a letter to Organic Pastures owner Mark McAfee, the California Department of Public Health said 10 samples collected from the raw milk dairy's calf area were positive for E. coli O157:H7, and two were a genetic match for the outbreak strain that infected five children."


    This is total BS. I know many people including myself who has been drinking OP raw milk for years with no problems. The "authorities" have a vendetta against raw milk because their allegiance is to "big agra lobbyists" who fill their coffers. They are harrassing raw dairies all across the country, including the Amish. Notice the Amish families or the thousands of farm families across the country have always drank raw milk and never get sick. It's always a few snotty-nosed city kids they use in their E-Coli scam.


    By the way, if you want to "really know" the truth just google….CDC admits no one has died from drinking raw milk in last 11 years in California

  10. Anna

    Idiot!!! Even the government press release stated that all tests of Organic Pastures milk tested NEGATIVE for e.coli! :

    "While laboratory samples of Organic Pastures raw milk have not detected E. coli 0157:H7 contamination, epidemiologic data collected by the California Department of Public Health link the illnesses with Organic Pastures raw milk."

    My whole family including kids have been drinking Organic Pastures Raw milk for 5 years. Never had any issues! More than 75,000 people drink their milk. If they had been the cause of the E.coli then more people would have gotten it!

    No E Coli was found in the Organic Pastures milk, so the outbreak is not from the milk. Farmers who care about raw milk are much cleaner and more careful than big pasteurizing megadairies, and, ahem, big farms that grow bagged lettuce…please do your detective work properly, and stop punishing raw milk dairies without cause!

    Another brilliantly executed abuse of government power! It speaks volumes about te character of Mark McAfee and Organic Pastures Dairy- RAW DAIRY PRODUCTS that they still wish to continue to business in this state after all they've been unnecessarily/illegally punished for.

  11. Cheryl

    My kids have been drinking Organic Pastures raw milk since they turned one year old, for seven years or so now, we've never had a single problem. We drink gallons a week. Who knows what's really going on wtih the kids that got sick but I have no doubt that Organic Pastures' raw milk is safe.

  12. Marshall

    5 cases spread across 3 months is an outbreak? Seriously? It took thousands of cases of salmonella, directly linked to McDonald's eggs before McDonalds did anything. Oh and by the way, the Health department didn't do a damn thing.

  13. Mark Felt


    I don't know if you were responding to my post or another, but nothing I said was an affront to raw milk or organic foods. In fact, my wife, two kids, and I just finished off a gallon of raw goat milk and organic fruits and vegetables are commonplace at our table. I was merely questioning whether pasturization would have prevented an E. Coli outbreak in raw milk. The intent wasn't to start WWIII over spilt milk.

  14. Abby lawson

    Just wish I could get some Raw mIlk I have a child who is sick and needs the raw milk that I ferment to make kefir, yogurt and sour cream I also need the cream to make butter. Hope we can get the raw milk soon. Might have to go out and buy my own cow!

  15. Rain

    I live in San Diego and we go threw about 2 gallons of Organic Pastures milk a week. We've been drinking it for a few years and have never been sick. It wasn't the milk. They haven't found the bacteria in any of the dairy farms products so far. The article even says one of the children didn't have any raw milk products before he got sick. The government has been trying to shut the raw dairy farms down because they are being paid off by the commercial dairy farm's lobbyist to do so.

  16. Edward

    Remember what happened to the RajNeesh people and their salad outbreak?

    There's people in my neighborhood(Coronado, CA) actively opposing organic farming, doing over-the-fence and neighboorhood yelling. I suspect foul play.

  17. Mat

    All the quarantines has been released as the rigorous testing proved no contamination in the organic pastures products. Long live raw milk!

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