April 18, 2015

Salmonella in Raw Milk from Breezy Meadows Dairy in PA

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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.

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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

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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...]

Johns Hopkins Review: Raw Milk Carries Higher Risk of Food Poisoning Than Pasteurized

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The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a literature review about the food safety of raw milk after a bill allowing the sale of raw milk directly to consumers was introduced to the Maryland House of Delegates during the 2014 session. Researchers examined the scientific literature regarding the health benefits and risks of raw and pasteurized cow milk. They examined 81 articles of peer-reviewed literature. "Based on our review of the scientific evidence, we conclude that drinking raw milk carries an increased risk of foodborne illness as compared to drinking pasteurized milk," they stated in their report.  "We identified several articles that detected a relationship between drinking raw milk and reduced allergies among rural children and infants. The underlying … [Read more...]

Second Campylobacter Scare for Claravale Farm

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Almost three years to the day after the California Department of Food and Agriculture issued a recall of Claravale Farm raw milk products for possible Campylobacter contamination, it issued another one. Both times there had been reports of illness that "weren't definitively linked to the products." Both times the recall was for raw milk, raw nonfat milk and raw cream produced at San Benito County farm. Retail sales of raw milk are legal in California if the the farm is licensed. Claravale Farm does have a license. Campylobacter infections are commonly associated with raw milk. Campylobacter is a pathogen that is transfered via the fecal-oral route, meaning those who develop Campylobacter infections have ingested microscopic amounts of animal feces. Pasteurization kills … [Read more...]

Cow Share Arrangement for Raw Milk Sales Allowed in WV

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The legislature in West Virginia has cleared a bill that will let people purchase raw milk through cow herd share arrangements. The vote was 81-19, according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The sale of raw milk has been illegal in that state up to now. The retail sale of raw milk, at farms or at retail establishments, will not be allowed. Consumers would fill out a contract of ownership for a cow, and sign a form acknowledging that they are aware of the health risks posed by this product. In addition, physicians would be required to report any illnesses caused by raw milk to public health officials. Unfortunately, food poisoning outbreaks linked to raw milk increase in states where raw milk sales are legal. All raw milk contains pathogenic bacteria. Pasteurization is the only way … [Read more...]

South Dakota Passes Raw Milk Bill

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The South Dakota Legislature has passed a raw milk bill that allows producers to continue to sell raw milk with some restrictions. The provisions were put in place to address concerns raised by the commercial dairy industry. Raw milk farmers will continue to be able to sell raw milk at on-farm stores and deliver to farmers markets if the milk is presold to an existing customer of the dairy. They will not be able to sell raw milk at retail stores and must comply with regular inspections. Nationwide, the number of raw milk outbreaks has been increasing in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The number of raw milk outbreaks increased from 30 in 2007-2209, to 51 in 2010- 2012. Those outbreaks resulted in 979 illness and 73 … [Read more...]

TN Health Officials Warn of Raw Milk Dangers

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Consumers searching for natural foods shouldn't be duped into thinking raw milk is a safe choice, say Tennessee health officials.  Unpasteurized milk can harbor dangerous bacteria that can cause life-threatening illness. “It’s true many people grew up on farms and drank raw milk from their cows and goats with no ill effects,”said John Dunn, DVM, MPH, director of foodborne disease prevention services for the Tennessee Department of Health. Dunn  “It’s also true others weren’t as lucky, swallowing bacteria-laden milk that did great harm. Pasteurization destroys dangerous microorganisms without substantially altering the taste or nutritive value of milk." Infants, young children, pregnant women, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risks of serious health … [Read more...]

Wyoming Steps Closer to Legal Raw Milk, More Food Poisoning, Critics Charge

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A bill that would legalize the sale of raw milk and home-grown food has passed both houses of the Wyoming State Legislature. But critics say the bill, called the Food Freedom Act, contains no consumer protections and will put people at risk for serious illness and death from food poisoning. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle editorial page said a better name for the bill would be the Food Illness Bill. The Wyoming Senate voted 20-8, with one abstention, to pass the bill. Criticism of the bill does not fall along part lines. Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, Sen. Charlie Scott, R-Casper  and Sen. Fred Emerich, R-Cheyenne are all opposed to the idea. Before a fine version heads to Gov. Matt Mead, it will likely be sent to a conference committee. Because it is not pasteurized, raw milk can contain … [Read more...]

Cryptosporidium in Raw Goat Milk Sickened 11 in Idaho

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Cryptosporidium in raw milk sickened 11 people in Idaho last year, according to a new report from the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak, linked to Treasured Sunrise Farms in Parma, Idaho, was the first ever Cryptosporidium raw milk outbreak linked to raw goat milk. A  Cryptosporidium raw milk outbreak was linked to raw cow milk in Minnesota in 2010. The 11 ill people sickened ranged in age from 2 months to 76 years. The median age was 11. One person was hospitalized. Symptoms of an infection, which usually develop between two and 10 days of exposure, include: watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, vomiting and weight loss. Illness typically lasts one to two weeks, but can linger for up to a month. Because Cryptosporidium infections can’t … [Read more...]

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