An outbreak of diarrheal illness in Raymond, Wisconsin was traced back to raw milk consumption. Bacteria from the tainted milk sickened sixteen people, both students and school officials, at a school event earlier this month.
The bacteria found, Campylobacter jejuni, is one of the more common causes of diarrhea. In addition, it can cause fever, cramping, vomiting, and bloody stool. In rare instances, Campylobacter jejuni can cause paralysis after the initial symptoms have passed. The bacteria was discovered in the raw milk provided at the event and traced back to a local farm, whose name has not yet been released to the public. The farm in question is still in the good graces of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. According to Wisconsin law, raw milk cannot be sold in the state, but it can be legally consumed and given away for free.
The recent outbreak has reignited debate over the role of raw milk. Bills to legalize the sale of raw milk have been passed by the Wisconsin legislature (the most recent one was vetoed by former Governor Jim Doyle). Raw milk has been debated in other state as well. Earlier this year, the Vermont government debated legalizing raw milk sales, and earlier in the year the USDA shut down a Midwestern farm that was illegally selling raw milk across state lines.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer