The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Minnesota Department of Health revealed definitive evidence today proving that raw milk from the Hartmann Dairy Farm in rural Gibbon, MN caused five people to become infected with E. coli O157:H7. Three of the victims were hospitalized, including a child who is suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) – a life-threatening complication that affects 5-10% of people who develop an E. coli O157:H7 infection.
In addition to recovering the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 from multiple sites – and multiple animals – on the Hartmann farm, state investigators also found a different strain of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli in samples of Hartmann's raw milk cheese.
Minnesota is investigating several additional illnesses that may be linked to the consumption of Hartmann dairy products. All dairy products from the Hartmann farm have been embargoed; the movement or release of products from the farm is prohibited while the investigation proceeds.
When reports of this outbreak first appeared on May 26th, customers of Hartmann Dairy cried foul. "This is hugely about consumer choice," Charlene Chan-Muehlbauer told reporter Mike Hughlett, "and I think we need more farmers like Mike Hartmann."
More farmers like Michael Hartman?
- In 2000, Hartmann refused to allow his farm to be inspected.
- In 2001, Hartmann's Grade A pasteurized milk license was revoked due to insanitary conditions at the dairy.
- In 2002, Hartmann was convicted of selling uninspected meat out of a van.
- In 2004, Hartmann was discovered selling raw milk out of a truck in a parking lot.
This country can't afford more farmers like Michael Hartmann!
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