Here is the latest I've read - how was the press conference?
CDFA lifts quarantine of Organic Pastures raw milk and cream
September 29, 2006 6:50pm
• Operation given clean bill of health by state
• Fresno County still imposes some restrictions
A quarantine on raw whole milk, raw skim milk and raw cream produced by Organic Pastures Dairy Co., a dairy farm and processing plant in Fresno, was lifted late Friday.
Organic Pastures has met the requirements of the state veterinarian to clear its manufacturing operations, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
However, the Fresno County Department of Community Health, Environmental Health Division, which oversees farm operations, still has restrictions in place requiring that Organic Pastures raw milk may only be used for manufactured products ? such as cheese ? and may not be used for Grade-A fluid raw milk and raw cream.
“To clarify, the lifting of the quarantine does not mean that Organic Pastures raw milk and raw cream will immediately be returning to retail shelves. Until the Fresno County restrictions are removed, the dairy still may not bottle fluid milk and cream,” CDFA says.
The Fresno County restrictions on Organic Pastures farm, which are not related to the quarantine, are due to a higher somatic cell count than regulations allow in Grade-A fluid milk, the state says.
High somatic cell counts are not a human health issue, but affect product shelf life and taste. Fresno County is working with Organic Pastures to resolve this issue as soon as possible, according to CDFA.
On Sept. 21, the state issued a recall and quarantine hold of raw milk products produced by Organic Pastures. CDFA says state law requires the state veterinarian to take action when epidemiological evidence links a danger to health with an animal product.
“Experts at the California Department of Health Services studied all information available to determine linkages in the cases of four children stricken with E. coli O157:H7 bacterial illness,” says CDFA. “That information revealed that the only common exposure reported by all four cases was consumption of raw milk or raw colostrum from Organic Pastures in the week prior to symptom onset.”