PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pritzker Olsen, P.A., the national food safety law firm, has been retained by the family of a Pittsburgh-area man on life support after consuming raw milk adulterated with Campylobacter bacteria.
James Orchard, a 67 year-old from Mars, Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. One of the most common antecedent events to those who suffer from GBS is prior infection with Campylobacter. Except for minimal head and eye movement, Orchard is totally paralyzed.
Several days prior to the onset of his illness, Orchard and other members of his family, consumed raw milk purchased at the McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Store in Mars, PA on March 16, 2010. The raw milk was produced by Dean Farms doing business as Pasture Maid, LLC, a creamery located in New Castle, PA.
According to a recent press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, “the permit for Pasture Maid Creamery in New Castle, Lawrence County, to sell raw milk for human consumption was suspended April 5 after testing found Campylobacter in its raw milk samples.”
Stool samples obtained from Mr. Orchard also tested positive for Campylobacter. Milk from the bottles produced by Dean Farms doing business as Pasture Maid, LLC and purchased at the McGinnis Sisters store tested positive for the pathogen as well.
“The fact that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture obtained positive samples from Pasture Maid at about the same time Mr. Orchard became ill coupled with his positive stool and milk samples makes the chain of causation very strong,” according to Attorney Fred Pritzker, president of the law firm.
This was not the first time Pasture Maid drew the attention of Pennsylvania officials. Just a year earlier, in February 2009, the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Agriculture advised consumers who purchased raw milk from Dean Farms DBA Pasture Maid Creamery, LLC, to immediately discard raw milk purchased there due to potential bacterial infection.
Although some organizations and individuals fervently believe in the benefits of raw milk consumption, scientists and food safety advocates are virtually united in condemning its sale to the public. “Promoting the consumption of raw milk is the equivalent of promoting consumption of raw hamburger,” commented Pritzker. “It’s irresponsible and dangerous, no matter what advocates claim.”
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization, a “kill step,” destroys pathogens like Campylobacter. Raw milk is an important vehicle in the transmission of Campylobacter and other foodborne pathogens including:
Enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus
E. coli (EHEC) (ETEC)
Brucella species (abortus –cattle) (melitensis- goats)
Even after its permit to sell raw milk was suspended, both Dean Farms DBA Pasture Maid Creamery, LLC and McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Store continue to claim the raw milk produced there is safe and of good quality.
“A summons and complaint brought on behalf of the Orchard family will be served and filed on Dean Farms DBA Pasture Maid Creamery, LLC and McGinnis Food Center, Inc. DBA McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores in the next few days,” Pritzker said. “Companies that sell unsafe products have to be held accountable for the harms and losses they cause.”
Pritzker Olsen law firm, headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, represents individuals and families in cases involving foodborne illness. The firm is involved in virtually every major foodborne illness outbreak and has successfully obtained some of the largest verdicts and settlements in foodborne illness cases. Attorney Fred Pritzker can be reached at 1-888-377-8900 (TOLL FREE).