Consumers, Retailers Told to Discard Raw Milk from Pennsylvania Dairy

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has warned consumers and retailers who bought raw milk from Green Acres Jersey Farm in Lebanon, PA, to immediately discard it due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination found in a recent sample.

The raw milk sample was collected from the farm July 29 during required routine sampling by a commercial laboratory and later tested positive for the bacteria.

Green Acres Jersey Farm, owned by Jonathan Smoker, sells directly to consumers and in an on-farm retail store. The packaged raw milk is sold under the Green Acres Jersey Farm label in plastic gallon and half gallon containers and is labeled as “raw milk.” Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.

Pennsylvania Agriculture officials have ordered the owner of the farm to stop the sale of all raw milk until further notice. Two samples taken at least 24 hours apart must test negative before the farm can resume raw milk sales.

Pennsylvania law allows farms to sell raw milk but requires the farms to be permitted and inspected by the state Agriculture Department to reduce health risks associated with unpasteurized products. There are 160 farms in Pennsylvania permitted to sell raw milk or raw milk cheese.

Symptoms of Listeriosis usually appear within one to three weeks, but may appear after just three days or as long as 70 days after consumption. Symptoms include fever, muscle aches and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If the infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur.

Source: Food Safety News, August 13, 2013