April 19, 2014

Listeria in Raw Milk From Greenfield Dairy Prompts Warning


Raw milk from Greenfield Dairy in Middleburg, PA may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and consumers should not drink it, Pennsylvania agriculture officials are warning. Results of routine tests on a raw milk sample collected from the farm on April 8 tested positive for the bacteria. The raw milk included in the warning was sold at the on-farm retail store in half gallon glass containers with the Greenfield Dairy label dated April 18, 21, 22 and 24. It is labeled as “raw milk.” Raw milk sales at the farm have been halted by agriculture officials until two samples taken at least 24 hours apart are negative for Listeria. Illnesses have not been reported to state health officials. Symptoms of a Listeria infection, called listeriosis, usually appear within one to three weeks … [Read more...]

Raw Milk: 1 Percent of Consumers, 70 Percent of Milk Outbreaks

Raw milk food poisoning

Although only about 1 percent of Americans drink it, raw milk accounted for 70 percent of milk-related food poisoning outbreaks between 2002 and 2011, according to a new report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The enormous risk of illness reflected by those numbers shows why raw milk is an urgent public health risk, according to the consumer group which compiled the report by examining the most recent 10 years of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Raw milk can be contaminated with many pathogens. In recent years, there have been outbreaks associated with E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. Infection from these pathogens can have long-term health effects such as heart problems, eye problems, digestive issues, reactive arthritis and … [Read more...]

CSPI Says Restaurants Pose Twice the Risk of Foodborne Outbreaks

Restaurant Food Poisoning

Outbreak data analyzed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says that Americans are twice as likely to get food poisoning from restaurants than from food prepared at home. The review, which covers outbreaks from 2002 through 2011, is titled "Outbreak Alert! 2014". The worst outbreaks of that decade included a Campylobacter outbreak linked to pasteurized milk served to inmates at the California State Prisons. That sickened 1,644 people. In April 2008, Salmonella contaminated jalapeños and Serrano peppers and pepper products sickened 1,535 people in 42 states. And in 2011, Listeria-contamianted cantaloupe produced by Jensen Farms sickened 148 people in 28 states. Overall, 1,610 outbreaks linked to restaurants sickened more than 28,000 people. In that same tie frame, … [Read more...]

Maryland Raw Milk Bill Dies

Raw milk is the source of a Campylobacter outbreak.

Maryland House Bill 3, the legislation that would have allowed individual cow-share or herd-share in that state, making raw milk legal, is dead.  The bill was stuck in committee after a report by the Department of Legislative Services found that the bill would double raw-milk outbreaks and increase the number of individual illnesses from raw milk. That study showed that making raw, or unpasteurized, milk legal would increase government costs in that state by at least $66,000 per year, up to $95,000 per year in four years. That is independent of the costs of illness, medical bills, and lost wages. Dr. Katherine Feldman, of the Maryland Health Department's infectious diseases bureau, said that "pasteurization if the cornerstone of milk safety and a triumph of public health." States … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Doesn’t Help Lactose Intolerance, Study Shows

Raw milk does not help with lactose intolerance

Is raw milk easier to digest than pasteurized milk if you have lactose intolerance? Although raw milk advocates have long said that it is, a new study published in the Annals of Family Medicine shows it's not. Researchers at Stanford studied 16 adults with self-reported lactose intolerance and lactose malabsorption confirmed by hydrogen breath testing. In a blind study, participants tested three kinds of milk: raw, pasteurized and soy in random order. Sugar-free vanilla syrup was added to mask the type of milk being tested. Participants tested each milk for eight days with a milk-free week between each test. On the first day of the test they drank 16 ounces of milk then added 4 ounces each day, reaching 24 ounces on the seventh day and returned to 16 oz on the eighth day. Researchers … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Sales Increase Government Costs

Raw milk is the source of a Campylobacter outbreak.

Making the sale of raw milk legal in Maryland has prompted the Maryland Department of Legislative Services to conduct a study on the cost of illness investigations and outbreaks. The analysis predicts that sporadic raw milk-linked outbreaks in that state would increase from almost none to 100 to 165 per year if the product becomes legal to sell. Outbreaks, where at least two unrelated individuals become sick with the same strain of bacteria, would increase to two to four per year. Those outbreaks would increase the cost of government by at least $66,000 in FY 2015, up to $95,000 by FY 2019. When an outbreak occurs, local and state public health officials must launch an investigation. These investigations are costly in terms of time and money. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene … [Read more...]

Raw Goat’s Milk Recalled for E. coli in WA


The Laughing Goat, a dairy in Roy, Washington state, is recalling its Grade A raw goat's milk because it may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. No illnesses have been reported to date. The product was sold in pint, quart, and half-gallon plastic containers with green lids. The milk had best-by dates between February 11 and February 19, 2014. The products were sold at the retail level in Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, and King counties. Routine testing by the Washington State Department of Agriculture found the pathogenic bacteria. It is possible that since tracing an illness back to a specific food product takes time, illnesses may have occurred. If you purchased this milk, do not consume it. Return it to the place of purchase. It's legal to sell and buy raw milk in Washington … [Read more...]

American Academy of Pediatrics Warns Against Raw Milk

Raw milk is the source of a Campylobacter outbreak.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement warning against the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products by pregnant women and children. Many children and pregnant women have become seriously ill with bacterial infections directly linked to raw milk. The statement says, "raw milk and raw milk products from cows, goats, and sheep continue to be a source of bacterial infections attributable to a number of virulent pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, Brucella, and E. coli O157. These infections can occur in both healthy and immunocompromised individuals, including older adults, infants, young children, and pregnant women and their unborn fetuses, in whom life-threatening infections and fetal miscarriage can … [Read more...]

South Dakota May Change Labels on Raw Milk

Milking cows

Raw milk sold in South Dakota may get a new label that states "Warning. Raw milk. This product has not been pasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria."  The state has proposed two rule changes for the sale of raw milk, which is only permitted directly on the farm or delivered directly to consumers from the farm. In October 2012, Agriculture officials in South Dakota found Campylobacter bacteria in raw milk from Black Hills Milk in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. It was discovered during routine testing. A recent National Animal Health Monitoring System survey found that 92.6% of dairy farms had Campylobacter-positive cows. More than 33% of all cows tested were infected; all of the cows were "outwardly healthy". In addition to the label change, the allowed bacterial count per … [Read more...]

Raw Milk E. coli Outbreak Shows Importance of Pasteurization


E.coli from raw milk has sickened at least eight people, three of whom have lab-confirmed cases of E.coli O167:H7 infections, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. The outbreak underscores the importance of pasteurization, health officials say. “Some people who consume raw milk because they believe it is healthier than pasteurized milk are putting themselves and others they share it with at risk for a range of serious illnesses,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, in a statement. “Raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause a foodborne illness than pasteurized milk and can be life-threatening to some, particularly the young. Those who consume raw milk are eroding years of progress in reducing dangerous, preventable illnesses.” E.coli and other harmful bacteria … [Read more...]

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