Chocolate Milk Recalled After Alkaline Phosphatase Found in Samples

After Alkaline Phosphatase was found in a number of dairy products produced by the Oak Farms Dairy plant in Waco, Texas, the company initiated a <"">recall of some chocolate milk products. The recall involves half-gallon plastic bottles of whole chocolate milk and half-pint paper cartons of whole chocolate milk and 1% chocolate milk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced.

The presence of Alkaline Phosphatase was discovered in samples during routine testing. To date, Oak Farms Dairy has not received any reports of illness related to the affected product and is removing the product from the market. No other Oak Farms Dairy products are affected by this recall and, specifically, this recall does not impact any Oak Farms Dairy products in Dallas or Houston.

All packaging, regardless of size or type, is printed with a “BEST BY” or “SELL BY” date of March 22, 2011—printed as MAR 22 on paper half pints, 03/22/11 on plastic half gallons—and a plant code of 48-3302. Distribution was limited in scope; therefore, said Oak Farms Dairy, consumers should only be concerned with products carrying the following Individual Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and plant code 48-3302:

• ½-Gallon Plastic: Chocolate-WHOLE, UPC number 4127100724, date 03/22/11, plant code 48-3302.
• ½-Pint Paper: Chocolate–WHOLE, UPC number 7002635006, date MAR 22, plant code 48-3302.
• ½ Pint Paper: Chocolate–1%, UPC number 7002635007, date MAR 22, plant code 48-3302.

Alkaline Phosphatase is an enzyme naturally present in raw milk and that is not present in milk that has been sufficiently pasteurized. Records reflect, and subsequent testing confirms, that this issue was limited in scope to product processed during a two-hour window. The company has confirmed that all pasteurization equipment was performing to standard, and the Texas Department of State Health Services returned to the plant and found the pasteurizer, pressure differentials, and flow rates operating normally. The cause of the positive test result is under investigation.

Because the presence of Alkaline Phosphatase in milk suggests the milk may not have been pasteurized sufficiently, it is possible that pathogens were present in the raw milk to begin with, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and/or E. coli. Because these pathogens may have survived, it is important to note that, if ingested, they could cause gastrointestinal infection and related complications of food poisoning.

The recall involves approximately 64,000 units of the affected product, which was distributed in Texas in San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Temple, Killeen, Hillsboro, Mexia, Wichita Falls, Lindale, and Jacksonville, as well as through numerous retail outlets, schools, and food service settings. The company is actively notifying customers and is in the process of retrieving the affected product.

Consumers in possession of this product should not consume it and should discard it. Consumers may return the product package to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange. Oak Farms can be reached, toll-free, at 1-800-681-2249.

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