Agriculture Department Warns Pennsylvania Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Consumers who purchased raw milk from Beulah Land Jerseys in Jonestown, Lebanon County, any time after March 18 should discard it immediately due to the risk of Listeria Monocytogenes contamination, agriculture secretary Dennis Wolff said today.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. Pennsylvania farms selling raw milk must be permitted and have samples of their milk laboratory tested due to the health risks associated with the unpasteurized products.

"During routine testing, samples taken at the dairy tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes," said Wolff. "If consumers have raw milk from this farm, they should discard it immediately."

No illnesses have been reported as a result of the potential contamination, but if people who consumed the raw milk become ill, they should consult a physician.

Samples were taken from the farm on April 8; they tested positive for Listeria Monocytogenes on April 14. Until multiple laboratory samples test negative, the farm's unpasteurized milk is not safe for human consumption. The farm's milk can continue to be safely sold for pasteurization to a processing facility.

Symptoms of Listeriosis 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 Listeriosis can appear in four days to three weeks.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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