A southern Minnesota dairy farmer accused of sickening more than a dozen people with raw milk products has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.
State officials say Michael Hartmann's unpasteurized milk contained E. coli, campylobacter and cryptosporidium that caused the illnesses in 2010. Hartmann pleaded guilty Monday in Sibley County District Court to charges of selling raw milk and to selling food without a license.
Hartmann declined to comment.
As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors dropped charges against Hartmann's wife, brother and a business associate. Under the court settlement, Hartmann must bring his dairy operation into compliance with state law.
"If he doesn't get into compliance what will happen at that point is then I will file a probation violation with court administration," said Assistant Sibley County Attorney Don Lannoye. "If he's found to not have gotten into compliance at that point he could likely be looking at some jail time."
A central Minnesota farmer, Alvin Schlangen faces raw milk charges in Stearns County even though a Hennepin County jury last month acquitted him in a separate raw milk case.