July 25, 2016

Tennessee Department of Health: Raw Milk Can Be Hazardous

As several states around the country try to pass legislation to make the sales of raw, or unpasteurized, milk legal, and the CDC announces a study about a serious Listeria monocytogenes outbreak at the Ropelato Dairy Farm in Utah in 2014 linked to raw milk, the Tennessee Department of Health is weighing in on the topic. They released a statement that "raw milk can be hazardous to your health." The opening paragraph states, "Milk, whether it comes from seemingly healthy cows, goats, or any other animal, can cause serious health problems, including death, if it has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria." Dr. John Dreyzehner, Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner, says that those who think raw milk has health benefits compared to pasteurized milk should understand the … [Read more...]

Mycobacterium bovis Tuberculosis May be Spread Through the Air

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a paper published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report that brings up a possible risk for people who consume imported raw milk products or who eat raw milk products while in other countries. Mycobacterium bovis, a zoonotic pathogen of cattle, causes tuberculosis in people who eat unpasteurized contaminated dairy products in or imported from countries with affected cattle herds. That's bad enough, but scientists now believe that this illness can be transmitted person-to-person through the air. This investigation strengthens the evidence for person-to-person airborne transmission of M. bovis infections. In April 2014, a man in Nebraska who was born in Mexico was diagnosed with extensive pulmonary tuberculosis caused by M. … [Read more...]

California Confirms E. coli Outbreak Linked to Organic Pastures Raw Milk

The California Department of Public Health has confirmed to Food Poisoning Bulletin that there is an E. coli O157 outbreak linked to recalled Organic Pastures raw milk. Via email, they said "there is an outbreak, and as of February 8, 2016, six children with a unique strain of shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 have been identified; of all of these six children, four have reported drinking Organic Pastures raw milk before they got sick." All six illnesses occurred in January 2016. Public health officials are investigating the dairy and that investigation is ongoing. CDPH's Food and Drug Branch (FDB) has "collected a number of samples from the marketplace, which are currently undergoing laboratory evaluation," according to the communication. The recalled product is Organic Pastures … [Read more...]

Organic Pastures Raw Milk Recall is for E. coli O157

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has jumped into the Organic Pastures raw milk recall. The whole raw milk has been recalled for possible E. coli O157 contamination. The product was distributed in northern California and the central coast of California. Use by dates for the products are 1/23/16 (lot code 20160105-1) and 1/26/16 (lot code 20160106-2). The symptoms of an E. coli O157 infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea that may be watery and/or bloody, a mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin three to four days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria, sometimes up to 10 days. Children under the age of 5 are most susceptible to serious complications from this infection, most notably hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS develops when … [Read more...]

Organic Pastures Recalls Raw Milk

Organic Pastures, the dairy in California that has been at the center of recalls before, is recalling raw milk produced at their facility. They state that this is not a state-mandated recall, but is being conducted "in abundance of caution." There is no word on whether or not any illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of these products, or why the product is being recalled. The recalled products include whole milk with use by date of 1/23/16 and lot code 20160105-1, and whole milk with a use by date of 1/26/16 and lot code 20160106-2. The milk "may have been released" to the northern and central coast areas of California, and were not sold in southern California, according to the press release. If you purchased this product, do not drink it. Throw it away or … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Bill Back in Wisconsin Legislature

A bill to legalize the sale of raw milk is back in the Wisconsin legislature. Republican Representative Dave Murphy introduced a bill last week that would let dairy farms sell raw milk and raw milk products directly to customers where they are produced.  The farmers would not need state milk producer licenses or permits, and state milk quality rules would not apply to these products. At this time, selling raw milk is illegal in Wisconsin. "Incidental sales" of raw milk directly to consumers at a dairy farm for consumption by that consumer, the consumer's family, or nonpaying guests, is exempted from the law. But if done on a regular basis, or if the sales involve advertising, those sales are deemed illegal. Dairy farmers who are considered "bona fide" owners can consume raw milk from … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Cheese Recalled in Canada for Staphylococcus Toxin

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Portuguese Cheese Co. Ltd. is recalling St. Jorge and Queijo São Jorge raw milk cheese from commerce because they may contain the toxin produced by Staphylococcus bacteria. Foods contaminated with this toxin will not look, smell, or taste spoiled. And the toxin is not destroyed by normal consumer cooking temperatures. No illnesses have been reported to date. The recalled products are St. Jorge raw milk cheese sold in variable size packages. The code on the product is Lot #914 and the UPC number is variable. Also recalled is Queijo São Jorge raw milk cheese in about 9 to 10 kg packages. There is no UPC number on that cheese. The code on that product, which appears only on the case, is AEE0215. The products were sold in Ontario at the retail level. … [Read more...]

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...]

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