December 19, 2014

In New York, Castle Farms Raw Milk May be Contaminated with E coli 0157:H7

In New York, Castle Farms raw milk may be contaminated with E coli 0157:H7. The New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine warned consumers around Chautauqua County to not consume raw milk from Castle Farms for potential E. coli 0157:H7 contamination. The farm can legally sell unpasteurized milk on the premises.

The New York State Food Laboratory routinely samples the milk. A sample on June 4, 2012 tested positive for E. coli 01578:H7. Castle Farms offered to suspend raw milk sales until the test was confirmed. The test was confirmed on June 12, 2012, and the farm can no longer sell raw milk until sampling indicates the milk is free from dangerous bacteria. The press release said that “to date, no illnesses are known by the Department to be associated with product from Castle Farms.”

One of the problems with raw milk is that bacteria tend to clump in that product. A sample taken from a gallon of raw milk could test negative, but there could still be pathogenic bacteria in the product. And it only takes 10 E. coli bacteria to cause illness in human beings.

E. coli 0157:H7 causes severe illness. Symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 poisoning include severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. If you or anyone you know has consumed raw milk products from Castle Farms and is suffering from these symptoms, see your healthcare provider immediately.

Most healthy adults recover in one week, but some patients will develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication that can lead to kidney failure, strokes, hypertension, and death.

Children and the elderly are most susceptible to complications from this bacterial infection. So far in 2012, six children have been hospitalized with HUS from drinking raw milk.

Adults with E. coli 0157:H7 infections can develop thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), which can cause stroke, seizures, hemolytic anemia, heart failure, hypertension, and death.

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