Pepin County farmers deny raw milk made football team ill


February 28, 2015

DURAND Pepin County dairy farmers who had their sales permit suspended are denying allegations that their milk made students and coaches sick at a high school football team potluck.

At least 26 people who attended the September dinner were confirmed to have bacterial infections tied to consuming raw milk, according to a state Department of Health Services report. The coaches and students were affiliated with the Durand High School football team.

The Wisconsin State Journal ( ) reports Roland and Diana Reed of Arkansas pleaded no contest to a charge from a state agency that they distributed unpasteurized milk. They agreed to have their permit to sell and distribute Grade A milk suspended for 30 days.

But David Sienko, an attorney for the Reeds, said they did not admit their milk caused the bacterial infections as part of the agreement. He says the state's report was "incomplete, at best" and that it did not test chicken, a common source of the bacteria, that was at the potluck.

Department of Health Services spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said milk consumption was the only exposure statistically associated with the bacterial infections, based on information from parents, students and coaches.

Miller said tests of cow manure from the Reeds' animals found the same bacteria strain that caused people to get sick at the dinner.



Associated Press