Walworth County (WI) and Zinninker Farm have reached a settlment regarding potential fines following an outbreak of campylobacter jejuni linked to raw milk sold by the farm. The Janesville Gazette reports:
The district attorney’s office filed 24 citations against Zinniker Farm, N7399 Bowers Road, charging the sale of non-compliance milk. The citations carry a total maximum penalty of $24,000. As part of the agreement, the Zinnikers admitted the violations but the case will be held open and they will not be fined. If Mark and Petra Zinniker were again caught selling raw milk, they would be fined the maximum—$24,000—and would lose their license to sell milk.
The Zinnikers apparently sold some or all of the milk using a "cow-share" program. In such programs consumers theoretically purchase a portion of the cow (which they don’t receive) but not the milk (which they do.) As is true in many states, Wisconsin officials do not recognize these programs as effective measures to circumvent state raw milk regulations.
Our office recently resolved a claim by a woman who developed Guillain-Barre Syndrome resulting from a campylobacter infection acquired from raw milk. This raw milk, too, was purchased through a cow-share program. Ms. Tardiff was hospitalized for months, and remains in a remarkable and valiant struggle to regain her former health.