HARRISBURG, Pa., March 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked two out-of-state cases of listeriosis – one of them fatal - to a Lancaster County dairy that supplies raw milk to private buyers nationwide.
Two people – one in California and one in Florida -- became infected from raw milk in 2014. Investigation of the Florida case determined the milk consumed there was likely produced by Miller's Organic Dairy located in Bird-in-Hand, Lancaster County.
Both individuals were hospitalized and the Florida victim died as a result of the illness.
Miller's Organic Farm does not conduct retail sales in Pennsylvania, but does business via mail order to a membership club. Miller's Organic Farm is not licensed and/or inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
There have been no cases of illness reported in Pennsylvania.
The source of these illnesses wasn't known until January 29, 2016. At that time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration informed CDC that whole genome sequencing of Listeria bacteria from raw chocolate milk produced by the farm in November 2015 was genetically related to samples of Listeria bacteria taken from two individuals affected.
Because Listeria bacteria was recently found in raw milk produced by Miller's Organic Farm, CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health are concerned that conditions may exist at the farm that may cause further contamination of raw milk and raw dairy products distributed by this company.
Raw milk is milk from a cow or other animal that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.
Consumption of unpasteurized dairy products poses a risk for foodborne illness, and consumers of unpasteurized milk should be aware of this risk. To prevent milkborne infections, unpasteurized milk and unpasteurized milk products should not be consumed, especially by members of certain groups at increased risk for infection-related complications, such as children under 5, older citizens, pregnant women and anyone with a weakened immune system.
Anyone who consumes raw milk or raw milk products and becomes ill should consult a physician. Symptoms of Listeria are fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, but infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. Symptoms of Listeria infection can appear in four days or up to three weeks after ingestion.
For more information about the CDC web update, click here.
For more information about listeria, click here.
Persons who consumed raw milk and have symptoms should consult their physician and call 877-PA HEALTH (714-3258) to report their case.
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Worden, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health