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Warning issued over raw milk in Western New York

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Warning issued over raw milk in Western New York

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball is warning consumers not to consume unpasteurized, raw milk from Happy Hollow Dairy Farm because of possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Happy Hollow Dairy Farm is in Springville, NY.

The warning comes after a sample of the milk collected by an inspector from the department was discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On April 1 the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result. Further laboratory testing, completed April 6 confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample. The producer is now prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that its product is free of harmful bacteria.

The department recommends that any consumers who purchased raw milk from Happy Hollow Dairy Farm immediately dispose of it.

As of the posting of this recall, there have been no illnesses reported.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets notes that It is important to remember that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization. Pasteurization is a process that heats milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time.

Pasteurization kills the bacteria responsible for numerous illnesses and diseases such as listeriosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and brucellosis. Pasteurization of milk is recognized internationally as an effective means of preventing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, including listeriosis. 

About Listeria infections
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the affected milk and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has consumed any of the implicated milk should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn or even stillbirth.

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