In a press release issued this afternoon, the Washington State Department of Agriculture, or WSDA, said that it is officially advising consumers in that state not to drink Pride & Joy Dairy organic retail raw milk, due to fears that the milk could be contaminated with Salmonella.
The advisory was issued, the agency said, after routine sampling by the agency found Salmonella in bottled organic retail raw milk collected from the Pride & Joy Dairy in Toppenish. The agency adds that it has mounted an investigation into the exact source of the bacterial contamination.
No human cases of salmonellosis have been reported.
Pride & Joy sells raw milk in pint, quart, half-gallon, and one-gallon plastic containers. The advisory covers all container sizes with a best-by date of October 4 (OCT 4).
Pride & Joy Dairy sends its milk to multiple locations in Washington. Those that are known include:
Pride & Joy In Eastern Washington:
- Pride & Joy Dairy farm store (Granger)
- Bear Foods (Chelan)
- Better Life Natural Foods (Ellensburg)
- Settler’s Country Market (Ephrata and Moses Lake)
- Sage Mountain Natural Foods (Leavenworth)
- The Mazama Store (Mazama)
- Yoke’s Fresh Market (Richland)
- Glover Street Market (Twisp)
- Lemongrass Natural Foods (Wenatchee)
- Rhubarb Market (Wenatchee)
- Wenatchee Natural Foods (Wenatchee)
- Mill Creek Natural Foods (Union Gap)
- Rosauers Supermarkets (Yakima)
Pride & Joy Drop-Off Group Locations (Eastern Washington):
- Cle Elum
Pride & Joy In Western Washington:
- Marvel Food and Deli (Auburn)
- Battle Ground Produce (Battle Ground)
- The Family Grocer (Duvall)
- Sno-Isle Food Co-op (Everett)
- Marlene’s Market & Deli (Federal Way and Tacoma)
- San Juan Island Food Co-op (Friday Harbor)
- Nature’s Market (Kent)
- Sunshine Corners Nutrition (Kent)
- Skagit Valley Food Co-op (Mount Vernon)
- Central Co-op (Seattle)
- Arnada Naturals (Vancouver)
- Chuck’s Produce (2 locations in Vancouver)
Pride & Joy Drop-Off Group Locations (Western Washington):
- Issaquah/Tiger Mountain
- Lake City
- North Bend
- Seattle/Seward Park
Raw dairy products are legal to both sell and buy in Washington but health officials caution against it. Nationwide, more than a million people are sickened by Salmonella each year. Of those, 450 or so will die. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers are grossly over-represented in Salmonella cases.
On its official Facebook page, the dairy’s owners, Allen and Cheryl Voortman, seem to be characterizing the advisory as a witch-hunt in which they are being “targeted” for persecution by WSDA. They refused the agency’s request for a recall and say they are resuming operations.
Earlier this year the Voortmans did recall; they claim that during that shutdown their customers experienced such “desperation” that the Voortmans simply can’t risk repeating that “scenario”.
They also question the validity of the positive test and are demanding to see chain-of-custody evidence.