Despite being cleared of wrongdoing earlier this year, Peninsula Dairy has again been named in ongoing cases of campylobacter. The Kasilof-based cow-share program was identified in 31 cases of campylobacter, a gastrointestinal infection, and the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said yesterday, five more cases have been detected.
Two of the five individuals infected in this latest outbreak sought medical attention. Testing identified the bacteria as the same one detected at Peninsula Dairy.
State Epidemiologists say the genetic fingerprint of the bacteria isolated from these two people and the cow is unique and has never been seen before in the United States.
Dr. Brian Yablon with the Dept Health explained how consumers are avoiding the regulated pasteurization process…
Dr. Yablon: “The way that people are accessing it is through king of informal agreements, where people own part of a cow or herd, or where they’re sharing it with friends; it’s a very informal non-regulated arrangement. So because there’s no quality control, because we know that a cow’s udder is very close to the cow’s anus, that the tail could be contaminated, that the equipment could be contaminated, that it’s always a gamble, in that, there’s always a possibility of bacteria being in the raw milk. So it’s not typically considered safe to drink it, that’s why it can’t be sold in stores, and each year, there are several bacterial outbreaks, of bacterial illness traced to raw milk.”
Anyone who has consumed raw milk and subsequently experienced acute gastrointestinal illness in 2013 should notify the Section of Epidemiology Infectious Disease Program at 907-269-8000 (in Anchorage) or toll free at 1-800-478-0084