The Free Press, Mankato, MN

February 26, 2013

Gibbon farmer faces more charges for selling raw dairy products

Minnesota Public Radio

GAYLORD — A Gibbon dairy farmer faces three more criminal charges in connection with selling unpasteurized milk and other food products.

Michael Hartmann, 59, is accused of selling raw milk products in his long-running legal battle over state regulations.

In 2010 state health officials linked more than a dozen illnesses, including E. coli infections, to Hartmann raw milk products, and he eventually pleaded guilty to charges stemming from that outbreak.

The three new charges stem from a January search of the Hartmann farm. State investigators found 300 gallons of bottled, unpasteurized milk on the farm. Hartmann is charged with selling raw milk, mislabeling food products and selling food without a license.

Prosecutors also say Hartmann has violated his plea agreement by failing to bring his dairy farm into compliance with state regulations. In January Hartmann was charged with illegally delivering unpasteurized milk to customers in the Twin Cities. State law bans such deliveries.