September 4, 2015

Five Things You Should Know About Raw Milk


Raw milk has been making headlines lately. Despite illnesses and outbreaks associated with drinking this unpasteurized dairy product, about 1 percent of Americans drink raw milk and advocate for the right to buy or sell it in the states where they live. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has compiled several reports on raw milk. Here are five things the agency wants you to know: Laws governing the sale of raw milk vary from state to state. About 20 states have laws prohibiting the sale of raw milk, about 30 allow some form of it. At least 143 Listeria, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli outbreaks have been linked to raw milk since 1987. They have included serious illnesses, miscarriages, still births, kidney failure and deaths. Some advocates of raw milk believe that … [Read more...]

Study: Purported Health Benefits of Raw Milk are “Myths”


A new study evaluating the risks and purported benefits of raw milk finds ample risk but no health benefit to drinking unpasteurized dairy. The study, which appears in the current issue of Nutrition Today, was authored by John A. Lucey, PhD,  a professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and director of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Lucey, who researches the chemistry of dairy products and the properties of food proteins, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and more than 21 book chapters. In this study, he critically evaluates the purported benefits of drinking raw milk and finds that they "have no scientific basis and are myths." Myth 1- Pasteurization … [Read more...]

FDA Announces Raw Milk Cheese Data Call


The FDA announced late last week that it is requesting public comments to assist the agency in evaluating measures that may minimize the risk of harmful bacteria in raw milk cheeses. Raw milk cheese is made from unpasteurized milk. The government, in conjunction with Health Canada, is also  releasing a technical Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) report to evaluate the effects of factors in cheesemaking on the overall risk of listeriosis to the consumer. It includes estimates of the number of servings of raw milk cheese that result in one cases of invasive listeriosis, as well as the prevalence of contaminated servings, and the increased risk of invasive listeriosis per serving of raw milk cheese. The FDA released a statement about this call: "The FDA recognizes that there is broad … [Read more...]

CDC: Raw Milk Caused 85 Percent of Dairy Outbreaks in 2013


Raw milk products were the source of 85 percent of all food poisoning outbreaks linked to dairy products in 2013, according to report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  A total of 20 dairy outbreaks were reported that year for which pasteurization information was available. Of those, 17 were linked to unpasteurized products. The other three were Listeria outbreaks linked to pasteurized soft cheeses. Campylobacter was the most common bacterial source of the raw milk outbreaks causing nine outbreaks, 114 illnesses and five hospitalizations. In the last nine months, there have been at least three Campylobacter raw milk outbreaks. The most recent outbreak has been linked to raw goat milk from Claravale Farms. Three children, all under the age of 5, have been … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Farmer Points Out Great Reason to Avoid Raw Milk


Raw goat milk produced by Claravale Farms in San Benito County has been linked to a Campylobacter outbreak that has sickened three small children, hospitalizing one of them. The outbreak follows to previous recalls for Campylobacter in raw dairy products from the farm, one in April 2105 and one in April 2012. The farm's website does not mention the current outbreak. But it does have news updates about the April recall. One of them states: "We have been cleared by the CDFA to sell milk again and are now back in the stores and farmers markets. Our problem turned out to be a single cow with Campylobacter living in the milk in her udder... So what these results mean is that the problem was in no way connected to our milking or processing procedures or our cleanliness standards or any other … [Read more...]

After Stoppage for Salmonella, Raw Milk Sales Resume at Breezy Meadows


Raw milk sales have resumed at Breezy Meadows Dairy, after a temporary stoppage due to a positive test for Salmonella. The dairy is located in Bird in Hand, Pa. On April 7, raw milk sales were halted after a sample taken by the agriculture department tested positive for Salmonella. Consumers were advised not to drink milk sold from the farm's on-site store from April 7 to April 15 in unlabeled gallon and half-gallon plastic containers. At the time production was halted, no illnesses had been reported in connection with consumption of the milk. But Salmonella can cause serious illness. Symptoms of an infection, called salmonellosis, usually appear within 12 to 72 hours after consumption and include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and vomiting. These can last up to a week. In some … [Read more...]

FDA Warns of Raw Milk Dangers


Raw milk can contain dangerous bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria and Campylobacter that can cause serious illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The agency advises that  consumers drink only pasteurized milk and eat only pasteurized cheeses. Soft cheeses such as queso fresco are frequent sources of food poisoning outbreaks.  In 2013, unpasteurized queso fresco contaminated with Salmonella sickened 13 people in Minneapolis.  Eleven people were diagnosed with confirmed cases. Eight people were hospitalized. Children are disproportionately affected by raw milk outbreaks and more likely than adults to suffer severe illness. In October 2014,  an E. coli outbreak in Kentucky  sickened five children, four of whom are hospitalized with hemolytic … [Read more...]

Salmonella in Raw Milk from Breezy Meadows Dairy in PA


The Pennsylvania Agriculture Department is warning consumers to discard raw milk purchased from Ben. K. Stoltzfus at Breezy Meadows Dairy at 2457 Stumptown Road, Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania because it is contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Testing on April 7, 2015 was positive for the pathogenic bacteria. The milk is sold directly to consumers at a store on the farm. It is sold in one-gallon and 1/2-gallon plastic containers. The containers containing the milk were not labeled. About 80 gallons of raw milk were sold between April 7 and April 15, 2015. The farm will not be allowed to sell raw milk until two samples taken at least 24 hours apart test negative for Salmonella. Raw milk is legal in Pennsylvania, but farms must be permitted and inspected by the Department of … [Read more...]

Listeria Found in Raw Milk in New York. Again.


The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets is warning consumers in Sullivan county and the surrounding areas to not drink raw milk from the Richard Dirie Farm because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. That farm is at 1345 Chandelle Road in Livingston Manor, New York. A sample of the milk collected by a public health inspector on April 7, 2015 tested positive for the pathogenic bacteria. The producer was informed of a preliminary positive test on April 9, 2015, and halted production until the results were confirmed. They were confirmed on April 15, 2015. That farm will not be able to sell raw milk until further sampling finds that the milk is free from the dangerous bacteria. Raw milk is not pasteurized, which means it is commonly contaminated with … [Read more...]

West Virginia Governor Vetoes Raw Milk Bill


West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has vetoed a bill that would have legalized herd-share agreements allowing consumers to obtain raw milk bu owning a share in a milk-producing animal.  In his veto message, Gov. Tomlin said signing the bill into law would have posed a serious public health risk. The bill (SB30) acknowledged that consuming raw milk poses inherent dangers as it can contain pathogens that are especially harmful to children, pregnant women, seniors and those with compromised immune systems, Tomblin said. "A product with these types of health risks should be subject to more supervision than merely requiring a person to release the seller from liability for such risks. Second, the bill lacks provisions regarding oversight and regulatory authority with respect to … [Read more...]

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