A Minnesota dairy farm’s raw milk is being blamed for six illnesses, including three that have been laboratory confirmed as Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, according to state epidemiologists.
The outbreak attributed to raw milk was reported Tuesday by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), which said routine disease surveillance was responsible for detecting the six illnesses and linking them to consumption of raw dairy products from the Dennis Jaloszyski dairy farm, located near Cambridge.
Minnesota Department of Health inspectors visited the farm to finding out how many people purchased the raw milk and to notify them of the outbreak. Jaloszyski claims he does not maintain customer lists, prompting the state to urge anyone who purchased the raw milk to throw it away.
When MDH contacted the six individuals to inquire about potential causes of their illnesses, all reported that they had consumed raw milk from the Jaloszynski Farm.
“We’re concerned that people may be continuing to get sick after consuming products from this farm,” said Trisha Robinson, a foodborne illness epidemiologist with MDH.
“While we are very concerned about the illnesses associated with this farm, this also is about the inherent risk for foodborne illness from any raw milk consumption,” Robinson said. “Drinking raw milk or eating products made from raw milk can expose you to a variety of pathogens that can result in anything from a few days of diarrhea to kidney failure and death. People need to think carefully about those risks before consuming raw dairy products from any source, and people need to know that the risks are especially high for young children.”
Common symptoms of Campylobacter infection include fever, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal pain, malaise, and vomiting. Symptoms generally begin 2-5 days after consumption of contaminated food. Symptoms last for about a week in most people but last for up to three weeks in 20 percent of cases.
In addition, Campylobacter infection occasionally results in complications such as arthritis and Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is characterized by the sudden onset of paralysis. Anyone who believes they may have become ill with Campylobacter should contact his or her healthcare provider.