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article imageRaw milk linked to illnesses in California and Idaho

By Karen Graham     Oct 22, 2015 in Food
Dairies in two states have recalled all their raw milk products pending further investigations by the respective state health authorities because the products were linked to food-borne illnesses.
Three days ago, raw milk produced by Organic Pastures Dairy of Fresno County, California became the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones. No illnesses are associated with this recall.
The quarantine order was applied after Campylobacter bacteria was detected in raw whole milk. Organic Pastures Dairy brand Grade A raw milk with a code date of OCT 24 2015 had to be pulled from retail shelves across the state.
This is not the first time Organic Pastures Dairy has been ordered to recall their products. In 2011, and again in 2012, Organic Pastures had to recall products because of Campylobacter contamination. In the 2012 recall, their products were linked to 10 food-borne illnesses. Additionally, in the 2011 recall, five children were sickened due to E. coli linked to the dairy's raw milk.
The California Department of Public Health is advising consumers to not consume the product, and to throw out any raw milk products with the code date OCT 24 2015.
Idaho raw milk recall
Idaho health officials are investigating eight illnesses in the southwest part of the state that are likely associated with drinking raw milk from an Idaho dairy. As of Tuesday, October 20, four people were sickened with Campylobacter and four with E. coli 0157:H7 infections.
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture and Southwest and Central District Health departments are working together to investigate the illnesses linked to Natural Farm Fresh Dairy in Kuna, Idaho. “If people have recently purchased raw milk from this dairy, we advise them not to drink it and to discard it,” says Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Idaho state public health veterinarian.
The dairy released a statement about the recall: “Natural Farm Fresh is committed to providing a safe and wholesome product to its customers. Effective immediately, we are voluntarily removing all raw milk products currently on the shelves in retail stores and we will discontinue further distribution of our raw milk until additional product testing is completed.”
Maryland opens the door to access to raw milk
In other raw milk news, the P.A. Bowen Farmstead at Brandywine, Maryland, just one hour outside Washington D.C., has been licensed by the Maryland State Chemist to sell raw milk to the public, but only for consumption by pets. The issuance of the license opens up an interesting legal dilemma.
Maryland now joins Florida, Georgia, Indiana and North Carolina in allowing farms to sell raw milk for pets. Maryland has been a staunch anti-raw milk state for a number of years, but now, the door has been opened to allow legal access to raw milk in the state.
The farm’s website states that sales were starting on Oct. 15 and that the “same strict sanitary procedures” were being followed for the raw milk meant for pets as for the farm’s raw cheese. The site also noted that there is a one-gallon limit per family.
More about foodborne illnesses, Raw milk, campylobacter, E coli, california and idaho'
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