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Food Safety


Food Safety and Protecting Wyoming’s Health

More than 140 years ago Louis Pasteur showed the world that the growth of microorganisms was responsible for the spoilage of beverages such as milk, and that heating could markedly reduce such spoilage and resulting illness.

Since then, we’ve taken major steps forward to make our food safer, including wide use of pasteurization and safety standards. Over the years, these measures have helped protect the public from countless cases of sickness and have likely saved many lives. While not all foodborne disease has been eliminated, there is no doubt that many, many illnesses are prevented by our current protections. {read more}


Foodborne Disease - It does exist  




Raw Milk Statistics

WDH Fact Sheet on Raw Milk Consumption



  • Consumption of raw milk is the leading cause of Campylobacter outbreaks in Wyoming.
  • There are sporadic illnesses and outbreaks in Wyoming associated with unpasteurized dairy products.
    • Over a 5 year period of 2010-2014, there were 41 cases of illness associated with raw dairy products in Wyoming. This includes several who report purchasing raw dairy from others.
    • There were 2 Wyoming outbreaks associated with raw dairy products during the period of 2012-2014.
  • Unpasteurized dairy products were the most common identified risk factor and likely source associated with Campylobacter outbreaks in Wyoming from 2003 – 2012. During this time period there were 4 Campylobacter outbreaks associated with consumption of raw dairy products, resulting in 19 ill persons.
  • WDH investigated 3 outbreaks (resulting in 18 illnesses) of Campylobacter associated with raw milk from 2003-2008; Isolated cases were also identified that were likely due to consumption of raw milk or milk products
    • In Laramie Co, a child developed severe disease (HUS) from E. coli  after consumption of raw goat’s milk (2009).
    • In Lincoln Co, a case of Campylobacter was reported who consumed raw cow’s milk (2010).
    • In Campbell Co, a case of Campylobacter was reported who consumed raw cow’s milk with a group.  WDH was unable to identify the others or the milk supplier (2010).
    • In Campbell Co, a case of Salmonellosis was reported who consumed raw milk while traveling to another state.

United States

  • California 2016, 8 persons (7 children) ill with Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) from consumption of unpasteurized milk purchased from a dairy.  
  • A scientific study, published Jan 2015, found that during the 6-year period of 2007-2012, the number of outbreaks in the U.S. associated with nonpasteurized milk increased (Mungai, et al. Increased Outbreaks Associated with Nonpasteurized Milk, United States, 2007-2012. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2015; 21(1):119-2).
    • During this period there were 81 outbreaks, 979 illnesses, 73 hospitalizations.
    • Number of outbreaks increased from 30 during 2007-2009, to 51 during 2010-2012.
    • During 2010–2012, nonpasteurized milk accounted for 5% of all outbreaks with an implicated food. This is a significant amount given that consumption of unpasteurized milk is still uncommon in the U.S.  
  • Utah 2014, Campylobacter outbreak due to consumption of unpasteurized milk purchased from a dairy. Campylobacter found in the dairy’s milk was a genetic match to the organism isolated from ill persons. Ninety-nine (99) cases identified in the outbreak. 
  • Wisconsin 2014, 38 ill, 10 hospitalized, players and coaches high school football team, Campylobacter.
  • Tennessee 2013, 9 children ill, 5 hospitalized, 3 HUS, Ecoli, raw milk from dairy farm through cow-shares.
  • Pennsylvania 2013, 8 ill (4 younger than 18 yrs), Campylobacter, source was a dairy that was certified by State of PA; Study conclusion: Compliance with regulations is insufficient to prevent raw milk outbreaks.
  • Oregon 2012, 19 ill, Ecoli, raw milk; 15 were 19 yrs old or less, 4 hospitalized with renal failure; the ill included the farmer’s children, of which one was severely ill with renal failure.
  • Pennsylvania 2012, 43 ill, Campylobacter, raw milk, multiple states.
  • U.S. 2006, 10 outbreaks linked to consumption of raw milk, caused by Campylobacter, E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria  (CDC MMWR 2009; 58:609-15)

Raw Milk Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Consumption of Raw or Unpasteurized Milk and Milk Products by Pregnant Women and Children 


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): "Outbreaks of Campylobacter are usually associated with unpasteurized milk or contaminated water."  


Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws - United States, 1993-2006 

A review of dairy-associated outbreaks during 1993-2006 to determine if outbreaks caused by unpasteurized dairy products are associated with state laws that regulate the sale of those products.


American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP News, Vol 29: no 12

The Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program has investigated many sporadic cases, clusters, and outbreaks of illness due to consumption of raw milk.  To read a summary of these investigations click here:


ID Epi Raw Milk Disease Investigations

The scientific literature is full of information regarding the dangers of drinking raw milk.  For a short list of references clich here:


Raw Milk Disease References


More illnesses reported from Alaska dairy's raw milk:  An outbreak of a serious gastrointestinal illness connected to consumption of raw milk from an Alaska dairy is ongoing, with seven confirmed cases and 11 more that are suspected, state health officials said... {read more}