6 sick with campy: California warns of raw milk

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith today warned consumers that the consumption of unpasteurized (raw) dairy products may cause serious illness. Six Northern California residents have recently been diagnosed with campylobacteriosis, a bacterial infection that can come from consuming contaminated raw milk.

raw.milk.claravaleA recent investigation conducted by CDPH identified multiple bottles of Claravale Farm raw milk that tested positive for Campylobacter. Under the direction of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Claravale Farm has initiated a recall of the affected product.

Although the sale of raw milk from some dairies is legal in California, CDPH does not recommend drinking raw milk or raw milk products or giving raw milk, colostrum, raw cream or other raw milk products to children. Raw milk products sold in California are required to carry a warning label:

“WARNING: Raw (unpasteurized) milk and raw milk dairy products may contain disease-causing microorganisms. Persons at highest risk of disease from these organisms include newborns and infants; the elderly; pregnant women; those taking corticosteroids, antibiotics or antacids; and those having chronic illnesses or other conditions that weaken their immunity.”

Boo-hoo: Australian raw milk pushers losing thousands under new laws

 New Victorian laws governing the sale of unpasteurised milk are costing organic dairy farmers thousands of dollars.

raw.milk.death.1917The death of a three-year-old boy last year, as well as three additional cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome in children under 5-years-old prompted the State Government to bring in new laws this year.

Dairy farmers must add a gagging agent to their milk, to make it unpalatable, if they want to sell it as raw or bath milk for cosmetic purposes.

Simon Schulz, a third generation dairy farmer from the state’s south-west, said he was unable to add a gagging agent and still keep his organic certification.

He said his family now pasteurised all its milk.

Adam Jenkins, the recently installed president of the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria, the state’s peak dairy lobby group, said, “People have made comments about how old farmers drink their own milk out of the vat or we give it to our neighbours. At the end of the day, that’s not really the discussion.”

Mr Jenkins said he understood the need for farmers to supply niche markets to maintain their incomes.

He said the biggest issue facing the raw milk industry was ensuring a safe supply chain from the farm to customers’ houses.

“You can’t just say ‘yes, we’re going to have it’ and have no quality assurance process,” Mr Jenkins said.

“I agree the [government] has done the right thing – maybe gone too hard, too quick – but maybe we need to relook at it. If people are really that keen on that, then they can pursue their own advocacy towards that.”

There’s sick people: Campy in raw milk sparks recall Claravale Farm products in Calif

The press release writers used the same ending three years ago when Claravale raw milk stuff was quarantined, and eventually linked 22 sick people to the products. Epidemiology still works.

colbert_raw_milk(5)Raw milk, raw nonfat milk and raw cream produced by Claravale Farm of San Benito County are the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones.  

The quarantine order came following the confirmed detection of Campylobacter bacteria in Claravale Farm’s raw milk and raw cream from samples collected and tested by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  

CDPH found the campylobacter bacteria in samples collected as part of an investigation of illnesses that may have been associated with Claravale Farm raw milk.  No illnesses have been definitively attributed to the products at this time.  However, CDPH is continuing its epidemiological investigation of reported clusters of campylobacter illness where consumption of raw milk products may have occurred.

How many sick people this time?

Scotch and a smoke with your kid? Raw milk fans cheer state laws

Bioethicist Arthur Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics, at New York University, tells Today Health, “Adults drive, cliff dive and smoke, but they have to be informed about risks. The ethical considerations become much more difficult when kids are involved.”

colbert.raw.milkThat’s because kids disproportionately get sick from raw milk.

This past week, West Virginia — which, like many states, bans the direct-to-consumer sales of raw milk —joined other states in a growing movement called herd sharing, which allows citizens of the state to sign a contract with a farmer, buy shares of a cow, and then to pay the farmer to care for the animals and milk them. These shareholders then get the milk in all its raw glory.

“A lot of states are looking at raw milk sales in one way or another, including herdshares, which are sometimes called cowshares,” says Pete Kennedy, president of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, a group which opposes the ban against interstate sale of raw milk. “But it’s tough trying to get legal or expanded access to (raw) milk for people who want it, and state by state, it can get a little crazy.”

That’s because back in the late 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration prohibited the distribution of raw milk across state lines for direct sale to consumers. But the U.S. can’t halt products being made within a state to be sold inside that state. That’s led to a patchwork of state laws governing the sale of raw milk.

SnakeOilIn California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, among other states, you can buy raw milk straight from a retail shelf or farmer’s market, according to the advocacy group. But in New York and Massachusetts, for example, you have to go to a licensed farm to buy raw milk. In Illinois and Kansas you can buy from an unlicensed farm, but if you live in Florida, you can’t buy it at all, unless it’s for your pet.

Currently, the FDA, the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Veterinary Association, International Association for Food Protection, and the National Environmental Health Association advise against drinking raw milk, as does the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“People want to be more responsible for their sustainable environment and what they are putting into their bodies but they conflate the two issues because natural doesn’t always equal healthy,” says Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, professor of pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatric position statement on raw milk.

The dairy industry worries that illnesses from raw milk sales could damage public confidence in the safety of dairy products.

“I grew up on a dairy farm and anytime you start milking a cow I will tell you they start defecating, and it can get everywhere,” says Dr. Faith Critzer, a food microbiologist with the University of Tennessee and a food safety extension specialist for the state of Tennessee. “There are just too many points of contamination and pasteurization will get rid of contamination. It will save your life.”

“These are educated people and getting some to change their minds about raw milk is difficult,” she says. “But when things go wrong (with raw milk), they can go terribly wrong.”

Always the kids: Health concerns after raw milk bill moves forward in W. Virginia

Lydia Nuzum of the Sunday Gazette – Mail writes that for Amy Nordyke, it seemed like the right choice. After researching ways to improve her family’s diet, she stumbled across the idea of consuming raw milk.

colbert.raw.milk“It was very convincing — that raw milk, under certain circumstances, could be a perfectly safe food to consume for all ages,” Nordyke said. “We just jumped right in and started consuming it.”

Nordyke, her husband and her children, who live near Fort Knox, Kentucky, had been consuming raw milk for nearly a decade when, in September 2014, Nordyke’s then 18-month-old son, Seamus, fell ill — first with bloody diarrhea, which quickly morphed into severe dehydration. Nordyke took him to a pediatrician and continued to monitor her son. When she realized Seamus was no longer urinating, she rushed him to her local hospital.

Seamus had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition caused by the premature destruction of red blood cells that clog the kidneys and cause them to stop functioning properly. The condition turned out be a complication from contracting E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in contaminated food. In Seamus’ case it came from consuming raw milk.

Seamus wasn’t the only one affected, Nordyke said, three other children had been admitted to the hospital for HUS, and Nordyke recognized the parents of one from Facebook. They were also members of the food club Nordyke procured her raw milk from.

“It was hard for me to accept at first that something that I had actively sought out for so many years could have made my child sick, but after a certain point, I just couldn’t deny it anymore,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 202 of the 239 hospitalizations involving tainted dairy products between 1993 and 2006 were linked to the consumption of raw milk or raw-milk cheese. More than 1,500 people were sickened by raw milk products in that time frame, according to the CDC. The CDC has also reported that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness and results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products.

raw.milk.aust.cosmetic.dec.14There have been intermittent cases of raw milk contaminations over the years, but large-scale issues are rare, primarily because consuming raw milk is rare in the U.S., according to Dr. Art Rubin, interim health officer for the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

“That’s been the problem in the Legislature,” Rubin said. “I think part of the reason these infections don’t look statistically significant is because there isn’t as much raw milk consumption, and I think if there were more, you’d start to see more side effects.”

Nordyke’s access to raw milk was the result of a loophole in Kentucky law. While the sale of raw milk in the state is illegal, there are no laws expressly prohibiting herd-sharing, she said.

“Herd-shares in Kentucky aren’t exactly legal, but they’re not illegal, either — it’s a loophole in the law,” she said. “Raw milk sales here are illegal, but you can milk your own cow, so if you own part of a cow, it becomes OK.”

Last week, the West Virginia House of Delegates voted 81-19 to allow the consumption of non-pasteurized milk in West Virginia. The Senate passed the legislation (SB30) last month, so the bill next goes to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for his signature. The bill will not allow the sale of raw milk, but will permit herd-sharing — buying stock in a cow or a herd and drinking milk produced by that cow or herd.

House Republicans noted in discussion of the bill that it was a matter of personal freedom

Despite having “one of the most severe” cases of HUS the hospital had seen, Seamus was able to make a full recovery after two weeks in the hospital, though he still receives check-ups to ensure that his kidneys are functioning as they should.

Salmonella found in raw milk tested by FSAI

A new report published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) shows that raw milk could cause food poisoning.

colbert.raw.milkAccording to the results of a FSAI microbiological test, samples of raw milk contained rates of Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter at rates of 7% of 3% respectively. Detection rates in milk filter samples were higher at 20% and 22% respectively.

Salmonella was found in 1% of raw milk filters and 0.5% of raw milk samples. E. coli was discovered in 6% of raw milk filter samples.

Given these findings, the FSAI recommends that milk is pasteurised or boiled before being served to infants, children, pregnant women, older people and those with a weakened immune system or chronic disease.

Dr Wayne Anderson, Director of Food Science and Standards, FSAI, says farmers should be careful when consuming unpasteurised milk.

“The FSAI is aware that any ban on the sale of raw milk would not affect those farm families who choose to consume raw milk,” he said. “But farm families should be particularly aware of the risk to young children and pregnant women posed by drinking raw milk and also the fact that farm visitors may not be aware that they are consuming raw milk.

“We therefore continue to recommend the use of home pasteurisers to ensure milk is safe,” he added.

Always the kids: raw goats milk in Idaho sickens at least 2

On August 27, 2014, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Public Health (DPH) was notified of two cases of cryptosporidiosis in siblings aged <3 years. Idaho’s Southwest District Health (SWDH) investigated and found that both children had consumed raw (unpasteurized) goat milk produced at a dairy licensed by the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and purchased at a retail store. Milk produced before August 18, the date of illness onset, was unavailable for testing from retail stores, the household, or the dairy.

goat.poopSamples of raw goat milk produced on August 18, 21, 25, and 28, taken from one opened container from the siblings’ household, one unopened container from the retailer, and two unopened containers from the dairy, all tested positive for Cryptosporidium by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) at a commercial laboratory. On August 30, ISDA placed a hold order on all raw milk sales from the producer. ISDA and SWDH issued press releases advising persons not to consume the raw milk; SWDH issued a medical alert, and Idaho’s Central District Health Department issued an advisory to health care providers about the outbreak.

All seven of Idaho’s Public Health Districts and DPH continued to monitor cryptosporidiosis reports submitted from Idaho health care providers and laboratories statewide as required by Idaho law. Public Health Districts investigated reports by interviewing ill persons or their parents using a standardized questionnaire. After the hold order, SWDH and the Central District Health Department identified nine ill persons in four households. Four persons who had regularly consumed raw goat milk produced before August 18 experienced symptoms of gastroenteritis, and five household members who had not consumed the milk experienced onsets of symptoms of gastroenteritis 3–8 days after the first household member became ill. No other common exposures were identified. CDC case definitions for cryptosporidiosis were used (1). In total, the 11 ill persons were aged 2 months–76 years (median = 11 years); six were female. One patient was hospitalized. Stool specimens were obtained in three primary cases (i.e., illnesses in those who drank the raw goat milk) and three secondary cases (i.e., illness in contacts of those who drank the raw goat milk); CDC isolated Cryptosporidium parvum subtype IIaA16G3R1 from all six. The last reported outbreak-associated illness was a secondary case with an onset date of September 3.

In addition to the four tested milk samples from containers, five of five milk samples collected along the production line on September 2 tested positive for Cryptosporidium by PCR at the commercial laboratory. Testing of all nine milk samples (four from containers and five from the production line) at CDC for Cryptosporidium by PCR and direct fluorescent antibody test was negative. CDC and the commercial laboratory collaborated to validate the negative result by using sequencing to determine that false-positive results at the commercial laboratory were likely caused by goat DNA amplification during PCR. An inspection of the dairy did not reveal any obvious contamination sources. Water from the producer’s well tested negative at Idaho Bureau of Laboratories for Cryptosporidium by direct fluorescent antibody test after ultrafiltration. Goat stool was unavailable for testing. Negative results led ISDA to release the hold order on September 18.

goat.petting.zooEpidemiologic evidence implicated contaminated raw goat milk as the outbreak source. It was not possible to obtain confirmatory laboratory evidence of milk contamination. Milk consumed before illness onset was unavailable for testing and could have been subjected to a single, undetected contamination event. No other common source was identified, and isolation of the identical Cryptosporidium genotype from ill persons did not disprove a common source. This outbreak highlights an infrequently reported cryptosporidiosis risk from unpasteurized milk (2,3), the value of sequencing to validate PCR protocols, the utility of genotyping Cryptosporidium isolates for strengthening epidemiologic evidence, and the risk for secondary transmission of Cryptosporidium. An increasing number of enteric outbreaks are associated with raw milk consumption (4,5). Resources for consumers, health care providers, and public health officials regarding risks from raw milk consumption are available at http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html.

Cryptosporidiosis associated with consumption of unpasteurized goat milk — Idaho, 2014

CDC MMWR 64(07);194-195

Mariana Rosenthal, Randi Pedersen, Scott Leibsle, Vincent Hill, Kris Carter, Dawn M. Roellig

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6407a9.htm?s_cid=mm6407a9_e

Internet cheese? Be careful Europeans

The suitability for consumers of a variety of raw milk cheeses purchased over the Internet was investigated in terms of packaging, labelling, physicochemical parameters and microbiological safety. 108 purchases from seven European countries were examined.

artisanal.cheeseThe prevalences of Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and coagulase positive staphylococci (SA) were determined. All 108 samples were described on websites as raw milk cheeses and thereby qualified for this study. However, after delivery it was noted that 4.6% (5/108) of cheeses were labelled to be manufactured from heat-treated or pasteurized milk. Delivery duration ranged from 24 h to six days. Immediately upon receipt cheese temperatures were observed to range between 5 and 23 °C, whereas in 61.5% of all cases the temperature was higher than 15 °C. Cheese labelling was examined in respect of EC Guideline 2000/13 and Regulation No. 853/2004. Only 17.6% (19/108) of cheeses were properly labelled and fulfilled all European guideline requirements.

In 50.9%, 38.8%, 46.3% and 39.8% of all cases (i) specific storage requirements, (ii) name and address of the manufacturer/packer or seller, (iii) net weight and (iv) shelf life (use by date), were missing. Even the labelling information “made from raw milk” was not apparent on 36% of all cheese items delivered. The major foodborne pathogen L. monocytogenes was detected in 1.9% of all samples, one of which had counts of 9.5 × 103 CFU/g. None of the 108 investigated cheeses showed a pH ≤ 5.0 and aw value ≤0.94 which are the limiting values for growth of L. monocytogenes. For two samples (0.9%) and 11 samples (10.2%) the pH and the aw value was ≤4.4 or ≤0.92, respectively at least at one of three stipulated time points (receipt, mid-shelf-life and at expiry). Salmonella spp. could not be detected in any of the samples. E. coli and SA could be detected in a total of 29.6% (≥10 CFU/g; 32/108) and 8.3% (≥100 CFU/g; 9/108) of samples, respectively, indicating poor conditions of hygiene.

Results reveal that labelling and hygiene concerns about the safety of Internet purchased cheeses in Europe are justified.

How safe is European Internet cheese? A purchase and microbiological investigation

Food Control, Volume 54, August 2015, Pages 225–230

Dagmar Schoder , Anja Strauß, Kati Szakmary-Brändle, Martin Wagner

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713515000304

Raw milk in the same fridge as pasteurized at Banana Joe’s supermarket in Sydney

While the Australian state of Victoria has taking steps to limit the sale of bath milk, linked to a child’s death and three other cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome, the stuff was found on sale yesterday alongside regular milk in a Sydney supermarket (that’s in the state of New South Wales).

raw.milk.banana.joes.feb.15Banana Joe’s supermarket in Marrickville was yesterday selling raw milk alongside ­pasteurized products.

The milk, Cleopatra’s Bath Milk, retails for $8.73 for a two liter bottle and is labeled “cosmetic skin treatment only”.

Despite displaying this ­legally required warning, the raw milk is packaged almost identically to regular milk and was displayed in the same fridge as other milk products.

The store manager, who gave his name as AJ, had “no concerns at this time” selling the products in the same fridge as regular milk as they were not on the same shelf.

He said he had ordered the milk in at the request of a ­customer but added that he had only sold “one or two bottles.”

Coles.perth.raw.goats milkA Coles supermarket in Western Australia was found to be selling unpasteurized goat’s milk, according to an intrepid reader, which has, I’ve been told, since been removed.

 

 

32 sickened with Campy: Wisconsin raw milk farm penalized in Durand High School case

This is why I pay attention when food is served at the kid’s school.

And I’ve already pissed off a bunch of parents because of my food-safety based draconian and silly requirements for canning and cooking.

doug.braun.sorenne.capitalsThe owners of a Wisconsin dairy farm, who supplied unpasteurized milk to the Durand High School football team this fall causing dozens of students and faculty to become violently ill from Campylobacter bacteria, have agreed to a set of penalties for their role in the outbreak.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday that Roland and Diana Reed of Arkansaw have agreed to a plan that includes suspending the farm’s Grade A permit for 30 days.
The agency says if the farm violates any of the conditions of the agreement within three years, the Grade A permit will be suspended again for 150 days for the current violation and their Grade A permit will be revoked for no less than six months for the additional violation.

“After reviewing the circumstances described in the final DHS epidemiological and laboratory report, we have determined that the farm violated current statutes and rules by distributing unpasteurized milk in an unauthorized manner, so we are taking appropriate action,” said Dr. Steve Ingham, administrator of the Division of Food Safety for DATCP.