The Band last played 39 years ago: Salmonella found in raw milk sold at NY farm

A Tompkins County farm was ordered to stop selling raw milk after a sample tested positive for salmonella last week, according to New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A Ball.

Officials say the “unpasteurized” raw milk from Jerry Dell Farm on Fall Creek Road in Freeville agreed to stop selling raw milk in light of the results.

The contamination was found during a test on Nov. 18. Sampling is performed every three months, according to the state.

And for no particular reason, today in 1976, The Band made their final performance, “The Last Waltz”, at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Not bad for a bunch of kids from around my hometown in southern Ontario, and an amazing drummer and vocalist from Arkansas.

On-line cheese presents risk

Online shopping saves time and provides an enormous product choice, but when buying cheeses, this may lead to a quality compromise, according to a new study from Vetmeduni Vienna.

3294_Cheese shutterstock_117291487According to a German market study, six per cent of all fresh foods sold today are purchased online – and this rate is on the rise. For perishable foods, however, it is necessary to follow certain hygienic rules.

Dagmar Schoder from the Institute of Milk Hygiene at the Vetmeduni Vienna was interested above all in one especially high-risk food – raw milk cheese. Raw milk cheeses are made from unpasteurised milk, which puts them at a higher risk of microbiological contamination.

Ms Schoder and her colleagues ordered 108 different raw milk cheeses from 21 online retailers in seven European countries (France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Belgium).

“We chose raw milk cheese because it is a high-risk product. As raw milk is unpasteurised, it can be easily contaminated with harmful bacteria.

“Even a small amount of bacteria, for which raw milk cheese offers ideal growing conditions, can reach critical proportions after a longer ripening, storage and transport time.

“The product is then no longer edible and may even make consumers ill. For this reason, special care must be taken during production, storage and transport,” said Ms Schoder.

The researchers found Listeria monocytogenes in two cheese products: one from France and one from the Netherlands.

The fecal bacteria Escherichia coli was found in 32 products. It indicates poor conditions of hygiene during production. Salmonella were not found in any of the cheese samples.

“Some of the producers apparently have shortcomings in terms of hygiene,” said first author Ms Schoder. “Furthermore, when making online purchases, I recommend consumers to check if a product is adequately packaged and cooled when it arrives.”

The shipping period of the online products was between one and five days.

“Cheese must be cooled,” Ms Schoder stressed. But this was not the case with 61.5 per cent of the raw milk products purchased.

“If raw milk cheese is not cooled, bacteria will grow more quickly. A longer transport journey and improper packaging increase the risk for consumers.”

Only 19 cheeses fulfilled the EU labelling requirements (Directive 2000/13/EC and Regulation 853/2004). Of the cheeses purchased, 37 were not labelled as “raw milk cheese” and 43 labels had no “use by date”. Information on storage requirements was missing in more than half of the cheeses.


Raw milk bill in Wisconsin back in legislature

The legalize raw milk debate comes down to access, informed choice, risk perception, black markets and oversight. Folks who want to drink raw milk find a way to get it. Maybe they know about the risks, maybe not.

A law maker in Wisconsin is, according to Channel 3000, looking to legalize direct farm sales of raw milk in the state (again). some-like-it-raw1

Rep. Dave Murphy of Greenville introduced a bill Wednesday that would allow dairy farmers to sell raw milk and raw milk products such as butter and cheese directly to consumers on the farm where they’re produced. The farmers wouldn’t need state milk producer licenses or permits. State milk quality rules wouldn’t apply to raw milk products sold on the farms.

Murphy wrote in a memo to his fellow lawmakers seeking co-sponsors that more people want their food directly from farms and consumers would be aware the milk hasn’t been processed.

Being aware the the milk hasn’t been processed isn’t the same as raw milk drinkers making choices based on their personal risk decisions. This list helps me make my raw milk risk decisions.

Farmer in China takes cows to city to sell milk straight from udder

A farmer has made headlines after bringing his two cows to a city and selling fresh milk straight from the udder in Zhangye, Gansu Province over the weekend.

gansu-farmmer-sells-milk-straight_from-cowThe man realized city dwellers have a taste for raw milk, reported the Chinese language China News Service.

People have been queuing in the streets to purchase the milk, which is often in short supply as there are so many customers, the seller said.

Mark McAfee and raw milk: Suck at home, go to Australia to make a few bucks

At least AC/DC can say they made their name in Australia (what’s left played in Brisbane the other night) but to this ex-pat, I see too many bands and brands coming here for an easy buck.

raw.milk.aust.nov.15Guess it’s no different for raw milk spokesthingies.

We’re all on a highway to hell.

Mark McAfee, who runs runs Organic Pastures Dairy in California, milking 550 cows with his family and supplying 700 stores with products including milk, cream, cheese and butter, and sometimes sickening customers with Campylobacter or E. coli.

It is legal to sell raw milk products for human consumption in California.

Mr McAfee was in Australia last month and during that time he spoke at a pro-raw milk event in Melbourne hosted by the Australian Raw Milk Movement. He also met with dairy industry and regulatory organisations.

Following that meeting he told The Weekly Times he believed there was political will now in Australia to have the debate about the production and consumption of milk and milk products that have not been pasteurised.

It is illegal in Australia to sell unpasteurised milk for human consumption. Earlier this year Food Standards Australia and New Zealand lifted the ban on the sale of some raw milk cheeses in Australia.

Mr McAfee said the move in Victoria from January 1 that required a bittering agent to be added to raw milk if it was sold without pasteurisation wasn’t good for the consumer. The Government introduced the requirement following the death of a toddler who drank raw milk. The coroner’s report into the death is yet to be released.

Mr McAfee said the bittering agent was “ continuing the charade that bath milk is not consumed and people are taking a bath in it”.

“It is upsetting people and pissing them off. I can guarantee you there is unlabelled milk (from farms) getting around at the moment.”



Campy in raw organic milk in Calif.

The California Food and Drug Administration has ordered a state-wide recall of raw milk produced by milk Organic Pastures Dairy of Fresno.

colbert.raw.milkThat recall follows a quarantine order after Campylobacter was discovered in some of the company’s milk. The CDFA reported on Friday that no illnesses have been reported from people drinking the affected milk.

Under the recall order, Organic Pastures Dairy’s grade-A, raw milk with a code date of “OCT 24” on the containers must be pulled from store helves, and consumers are urged to dispose of any of this milk remaining in their refrigerators.

The bacteria was discovered during normal testing by the CDFA of the company’s milk, the agency reports.

43 sickened: Yersinia in raw milk in Finland

In March 2014, a Yersinia pseudotuberculosis (YP) outbreak was detected by a municipal authority in southern Finland.

napoleon.raw.milkWe conducted epidemiological, microbiological and traceback investigations to identify the source. We defined a case as a person with YP infection notified to the National Infectious Disease Registry between February and April 2014, or their household member, with abdominal pain and fever ≥ 38 °C or erythema nodosum. Healthy household members were used as household-matched controls. We identified 43 cases and 50 controls. The illness was strongly associated with the consumption of raw milk from a single producer. The odds ratio of illness increased with the amount of raw milk consumed. Also previously healthy adults became infected by consuming raw milk. Identical YP strains were identified from cases’ stool samples, raw milk sampled from a case’s refrigerator and from the milk filter at the producer’s farm. The producer fulfilled the legal requirements for raw milk production and voluntarily recalled the raw milk and stopped its production.

We advised consumers to heat the raw milk to 72 °C for 15 s. Current legislation for raw milk producers should be reviewed and public awareness of health risks linked to raw milk consumption should be increased.

 Outbreak of Yersinia Pseudotuberculosis O:1 Infection Associated With Raw Milk Consumption, Finland, Spring 2014

Eurosurveillance, Volume 20, Issue 40, 08 October 2015

T Pärn, S Hallanvuo, S Salmenlinna, A Pihlajasaari, S Heikkinen, H Telkki-Nykänen, M Hakkinen,  J Ollgren, S Huusko, R Rimhanen-Finne

‘Doesn’t have all the industrialized stuff in it’ Raw goats milk in Alaska

After we won the hockey final yesterday, several of the parents said to me or Amy, “we didn’t expect that. Our team dominated.”

goats-1-600x450We were up 6-0 before the other team knew what was happening.

On the drive home Amy said, I told them, Doug probably had a plan (which I did). I appear sorta dopey (which is easy), but do the homework and know the game.

And sometimes get lucky.

Watching the raw milk comings-and-goings is something like that.

The majority of producers invoke the gosh-shucks-raw-is-just-natural line, without adding that smallpox is also natural. And E. coli.

The regulators seem lost in this rhetorical garden, portrayed as villains, even though the are relied upon to clean up the mess when things go bad.

Victor Nelson and his wife, Tabitha, have been supplying raw milk from their dairy goats to people in Petersburg, reported KFSK-FM.

The couple raises chickens, pigs and goats on a few acres of land at Point Agassiz, an area across the sound from Petersburg. They’re the only family living out there year-round, surrounded by craggy peaks, cedar trees and glaciers.

“We started with two goats and just for raising quality milk that doesn’t have all that industrialized stuff in it and people kept asking us so we decided to buy a few more and a few more,” said Tabitha Nelson.

They have more than 30 now.

The Nelsons say people go crazy for the fresh milk — “We could never meet the whole demand for Petersburg,” said Tabitha — but there are limitations on how they can sell it.

In Alaska, you can only buy raw dairy products like the Nelsons’ unpasteurized goat milk through a herd share agreement, so the customers in Petersburg are partial owners of the goats.

Unpasteurized dairy products are heavily regulated because they’ve been known to carry disease-causing microorganisms like E. coli. In 2013, a campylobacter outbreak on the Kenai peninsula was linked to raw milk.

Food safety silliness: 30-second food safety stories

There once was a dentist name Price.

He thought raw milk was all very nice.

miley.cyrus.tongueHe helped invent the Paleo diet.

And even, I’m told, Miley Cyrus likes it.

So it must be true.


But I want my food, like my medicine, to be based in 2015.

Not 1939.

30-second food safety stories.

Don’t get me started on microorganisms.