Thursday, January 26, 2012

Raw Milk & the Co-op

You probably heard of the Cozy Vale milk recall in December, followed by a lawsuit. Customers have asked why we sell raw milk, whether it is safe, and what we do to protect our customers. Read on for some answers, and contact info for further questions! 

The Olympia Food Co-op is committed to offering a variety of products to our shoppers, which includes local farm products like raw milk and cheese.  We believe in the integrity of our local dairy farmers and their operations, but want to acknowledge that raw, unpasteurized milk carries some inherent dangers to consumers.  The possibility of bacterial contamination is always present, and is most likely to be dangerous for at-risk populations such as infants and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.  All of our suppliers are certified and insured as raw milk dairies and comply with all inspections and health department guidelines.  When concerns or problems have surfaced, the dairies as producers and the Co-op as retailer have always put consumers first and removed products from our shelves immediately.

We know that many of our shoppers value being able to purchase local, fresh dairy products at our stores like raw milk and find that its benefits outweigh the potential risks.  We are writing this to acknowledge the recalls that have happened over the last couple of months and welcome open dialogue with our membership about this issue.  Please let us know if you have questions or concerns!  Feel free to respond here or to customerservice at