Salmonella Found in NY Dairy's Raw Milk

<"">Salmonella has been found in raw milk from a New York dairy. The New York State Agriculture Commissioner is now warning the public not to consumer raw milk from Laing farm in Potsdam, New York.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea which may be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.

Raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella. Producers who sell raw milk to consumers in New York must have a permit to do so from the state’s Department of Agriculture and Markets, must sell directly to consumers on the farm where the milk is produced and must post a notice at the point of sale indicating that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization. Farms with permits to sell raw milk are inspected by the Department monthly.

The Laing farm holds a Department permit to legally sell raw milk at the farm. Samples are taken monthly and tested by the Department to determine if the raw milk is free of pathogenic bacteria.

A routine sample of the Laing farm’s milk, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on April 6, 2009, was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Salmonella. On April 10, 2009, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed. Test results were confirmed on April 15, 2009 and the producer is prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of pathogens.

When milk and dairy products are consumed raw, they can be tainted with dangerous, often deadly, bacteria, causing serious health problems. A recent study conducted by the College of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus, Ohio found that about 5.2 food poisoning outbreaks were linked to raw milk annually in the U.S. from 1993 to 2006. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have indicated that over 800 people in the U.S. have falling ill from either drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998.

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