May 28, 2017

Meadow Gold Dairies in HI Ordered to Halt Distribution of 2% Milk

The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) has ordered Meadow Gold Dairies to halt distribution and sale of their 2% reduced fat milk because lab results exceeded standard limits for Coliform bacteria. That bacteria is used as “indicator organisms” because they indicate the potential presence of disease causing bacteria and possible post-pasteurization contamination.

Peter Oshiro, program manager of the DOH Sanitation Branch, said in a statement, “Milk production is regulated with routine testing both at the farm and after packaging to ensure a safe product. Department of Health inspectors will work with Meadow Gold Dairies to investigate the possible source of contamination, approve a plan of correction, and conduct further testing to confirm the company meets the standards to resume two-percent reduced fat milk distribution and sale.”

Milk splashes

The samples were taken from Meadow Gold Dairies on January 19, February 6, and February 22, 2017. The tests revealed excessive Coliform counts of more than 150/ml, 130/ml and more than 150/ml respectively. The maximum allowed level of Coliform bacteria in pasteurized milk is 10/ml.

DOH tests samples of all Grade A raw and pasteurized milk produced at dairy farms and milk plants of Hawaii every month. Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 11 Chapter 15 states that DOH may suspend the distribution and sale of a particular milk product whenever that product is in violation three times out of the last five consecutive samples for these Critical Control Points: Temperature, Bacterial Limits, Coliform, Phosphatase, and Antibiotics.

Meadow Gold Dairies must pass health inspections and undergo additional testing of product samples to continue to sell their 2% reduced fat milk. All other milk products from that dairy meet state and federal standards for distribution and sale.

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