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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Recall -- State Press Release

Consumer Alert: Listeria Contamination in Raw Milk

Contact:
Jessica Chittenden
518-457-3136

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Albany, NY -- December 21, 2006 -- New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick H. Brennan today warned consumers in the Allegany County, New York area not to consume "unpasteurized" raw farm milk from the Gerald E. Snyder farm due to possible Listeria contamination.

The Snyder farm located at RD #1 1444 Randolph Rd., Alfred Station, New York 14803 holds a Department permit to legally sell raw milk at the farm. Samples are taken monthly and tested by the Department to determine if the raw milk is free of pathogenic bacteria.

A routine sample of the milk, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on December 11, 2006, was subsequently tested by the Department's Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On December 15, 2006, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed. Test results were confirmed on December 20, 2006 and the producer is prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of pathogens.

Listeria contaminated product could cause Listeriosis, a disease that usually causes mild flu-like symptoms in healthy individuals; however in immune-compromised individuals, meningitis and blood poisoning can occur. Pregnant women are also considered a high-risk group, as Listeriosis can also result in stillbirths.

It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria. Producers who sell raw milk to consumers must have a permit to do so from the Department, must sell directly to consumers on the farm where the milk is produced and must post a notice at the point of sale indicating that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization. Farms with permits to sell raw milk are inspected by the Department monthly.

To date, no illnesses are known by the Department to be associated with product from the Snyder farm.

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