News in Brief

Raw milk firm linked to Brucella illness in New Jersey

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

Picture: iStock
Picture: iStock

Related tags: Raw milk, Milk

The New Jersey Department of Health (DOH) has ordered a company to stop selling unpasteurized milk.

Udder Milk’s product has been linked to one illness. A North Jersey woman tested positive for Brucella RB51 infection but has recovered.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department’s Public Health and Food Protection Program, with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, are investigating to determine the suppliers.

“It is illegal in New Jersey to sell or distribute raw milk or products made from raw milk, such as yogurt, soft cheese and ice cream​,” said Dr Tina Tan, state epidemiologist.

“People should know that, in general, unpasteurized milk may contain dangerous bacteria and those who have become ill after consuming raw milk products should immediately consult a medical professional.”

FoodQualityNews has contacted Udder Milk and is awaiting a response.

The FDA said the business sold products online and through pick-up locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

“The only way to diagnose people who are infected with this strain is by growing the bacteria through bacterial culture, as opposed to a blood test.

“People who drank or ate Udder Milk raw milk and raw milk products should also check themselves for fever for four weeks after they last drank the milk, and watch for other brucellosis symptoms for six months.”

Symptoms include muscle pain, lasting fatigue, arthritis, depression and swelling of the heart.

The Texas Department of State Health Services and CDC investigated an unrelated Brucella RB51 illness connected to K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas that sells raw milk products earlier this year.

CDC advised people who drank raw milk from the K-Bar Dairy between June and 7 August to get antibiotic treatment.

In Texas, raw milk can only allowed be sold on site at the dairy. K-Bar Dairy was operating in compliance with state laws and resumed sales last month.

Brucella RB51 cannot be diagnosed through tests commonly used and is resistant to one of the antibiotics commonly used to treat brucellosis.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Fresh Milk

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