California Campylobacter Outbreak

Below is information on Campylobacter outbreaks in California.

Claravale Farm

In March of 2015, at least 6 people were sickened after drinking Claravale Farm raw milk. The California Department of Health (CDPH) identified multiple bottles of Claravale Farm raw milk and raw cream that tested positive for the bacteria.

Organic Pastures

From January through April 30, 2012, 10 people were sickened after consuming raw milk products from Organic Pastures Dairy, located in Fresno County. The outbreak strain of the bacteria was found in raw cream produced by the company.


In the summer of 2008, health officials associated raw milk from Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms, a Del Norte County, California dairy, with an outbreak that sickened 16 people. One woman developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a condition in which the body damages its own nerve cells, resulting in muscle weakness and, in some cases, paralysis and death.

Because selling raw milk is illegal in California, dairies sell shares in a cow and distribute raw milk from the cow to “owners.” The dairies often have these people sign contracts, agreeing to hold the dairies harmless if someone is sickened by the raw milk. This does not necessarily preclude a suit for damages against the dairy.

California Prisons Campylobacter Outbreak

In the summer of 2006, over 1,300 inmates in 11 prisons became ill.  Prisons with confirmed cases included: CMF, 32 cases; Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, 379 cases; Folsom State Prison, 10 cases; California Rehabilitation Center, 4 cases; California State Prison, Sacramento, 75 cases; Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, 200 cases; Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, 400 cases; Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, 94 cases; Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, 130 cases; Wasco State Prison in Kern County, 11 cases; and Avenol State Prison in Kings County, 9 cases.

What is Campylobacter?

Campylobacter BacteriaCampylobacter is the name of a genus of a spiral-shaped bacteria found primarily in the intestines of birds–especially poultry–and other animals. Many birds can carry these bacteria without becoming ill, and it is estimated that nearly half of all chicken meat in the U.S. has some of this pathogen on it. Untreated water can also be contaminated.

Many people sickened with this bacteria become dehydrated. If you or someone in your family has this infection, make sure the infected individual drinks plenty of fluids. If it is not possible to remain properly hydrated, hospitalization may be necessary.

Other risks include meningitis, hemolytic uremic syndrome, urinary tract infections, short-term reactive arthritis, inflammation of the gall bladder, and Guillain-Barrè Syndrome, a condition that attacks the body’s nerves, causing paralysis and sometimes death.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker has more than 30 years of experience and a national reputation for excellence in food poisoning cases. He is currently lead attorney in a major food poisoning lawsuit involving victims from several states. Contact our Campylobacter lawyers using the form below.