Claravale Farm Raw Goat Milk Linked to Cases of Campylobacteriosis 

Claravale Farm is a well-known dairy product distributor located in the state of California. The company lives up to their motto by producing “pure, natural and raw” dairy products for their customers, which includes raw, unpasteurized milk products. Among these raw milk varieties include goat milk, known for its nutritional and health benefits.

With a nutrient profile similar to that of cow’s milk, goat milk’s additional health benefits is what draws a consumer’s attention. More notably, goat milk contains less allergenic proteins, easily digestible fats and proteins, and lower in cholesterol. For more information about the benefits of goat milk, please visit this site.

Drinking goat milk does not seem to be quite a bad idea; however, consuming raw goat milk on the other hand, might be. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States warns consumers about the risks associated with drinking raw milk. Although raw, unpasteurized milk is nutritionally dense, it contains a wide variety of disease-causing bacteria, including Brucella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Mycobacterium bovis, Listeria, and Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli. Any individual that drinks raw milk has the risk of consuming such bacteria; thus, increasing the risk of illness. The risk of illness from consumption is particularly high for infants and young children, elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with weakened immune systems.

On June 2015, the Health Officials in Orange County, California confirmed three cases of campylobacteriosis linked with Claravale Farm, due to the consumption of raw goat milk. The three cases were three young children less than 5 years of age. One of the children was hospitalized, but fortunately, all three were expected to fully recover. Campylobacteriosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria, Campylobacter. Its symptoms are seen within two to five days after exposure, and typically include diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever. This infectious bacterium is commonly associated with contaminated water, poultry, produce, and in this case, unpasteurized dairy products.

The risk of getting campylobacteriosis is not solely limited to consuming raw goat milk; it applies to other raw, unprocessed products as well. Earlier in year during March 2015, six individuals from North California were diagnosed with campylobacteriosis after drinking Claravale Farm’s raw milk. The farm’s raw milk and cream products were then subjected to a statewide recall when the California Department of Public Health tested positive for Campylobacter. A similar situation occurred previously in March 2012, where positive test results for Campylobacter led to a statewide recall of Claravale Farm’s raw products.

Claravale Farm is a strong and passionate company that is proud of their raw products, as demonstrated by their statement found on their company website:

“Raw milk is unique in that it is the only significant source of a complete food in our diet that is not processed in some form being eaten. For instance, the enzymes are all available, whereas in pasteurized milk, less than 10% remain. What this means, is that your body can more readily utilize all of the nutrition that is available in this milk. That’s good for you, and it’s great for your kids!”

Truthfully, there is no ‘perfect’ milk product. Indeed, pasteurized milk lacks the enzymes and natural nutrient profile found in raw milk. However, pasteurized milk also lacks the wide range of disease-causing bacteria raw milk contains. It is the pasteurization process that helps eliminate such bacteria to produce a food safe product ready for consumption. Yet, it is also the pasteurization process that eliminates the beneficial enzymes and natural nutrient profile present in the raw milk. This can be an on-going debate, but ultimately, the decision is upon the consumer, you.

What is your ultimate decision? Raw or processed milk?




Interested in the taste difference between goat’s milk and cow’s milk?

Curious about the effects of Campylobacter?