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Food Safety News

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Raw Goat Milk Recalled in Washington State

A small dairy in Washington state is recalling unpasteurized fluid goat milk because of concerns about possible contamination with antibiotic residue.

The Lucky Hook Dairy of Moses Lake in Eastern Washington is recalling two lot codes of its raw fluid goat milk because antibiotic residue can cause adverse health reactions in people who are sensitive to antibiotics. 

 

The limited recall was initiated after routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) discovered that the product coded with the expiration date 2-24-11 contained antibiotic residue.  This recall is limited to only the 2-24-11 and 2-25-11 expiration date lot codes because testing of subsequent product codes found no residues.

The Lucky Hook Dairy and WSDA are continuing their investigation into the source of the problem.

 

Antibiotic residues can cause severe allergic reactions in persons who are sensitive to antibiotics. Symptoms include skin reactions such as hives and can lead to difficulty breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms after drinking this milk should immediately contact a health care provider.

 

Lucky Hook Dairy Raw Goat Milk is sold in ½ gallon containers. The recalled raw milk was sold only from the Fresh Abundance store at 2015 North Division Street Ste 1, Spokane, Washington.

 

Consumers who have purchased the suspect Lucky Hook Dairy raw goat milkare urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 509-431-7329.

 

Retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington state, but the WSDA cautions that there are serious potential health risks. Consumers should read the warning label on the retail raw milk container carefully and ask their retailer to verify the milk was produced and processed by a WSDA-licensed operation.

© Food Safety News
  • Doc Mudd

    Based upon the limited information in this article, it appears that little Lucky Hook Dairy has done the sensible and professional thing by recalling its tainted product.
    They are to be commended for thinking of their consumers and taking appropriate action in timely fashion. Hopefully drawing national attention to a ‘small local’ event will stimulate more ‘small producers’ to voluntarily adopt an interest in the safety of their customers’ families.
    In showcasing such a rare display of ‘small producer’ integrity, this story highlights the folly of Congress in appending the Tester amendment to FSMA, effectively exempting small producers from mandatory food safety regulations, making product safety reliant upon an honor system among generally clueless operators.
    Not only should small producers be held accountable for the safety of their food products, they should also be trained to know when and how to conduct a product recall. Instead, caveat emptor is the rule when dealing with ‘small local producers’

    • Western Washington ex-dairy

      As a WSDA licensed goat dairy owner in 2010, and one who had to close its doors in the same year, I can tell you that the dairy business is harder than any of you can imagine. Balancing conflicting needs on the farm, including the need for sleep and rest, creates opportunity for mistakes. Over-regulation and fatigue is the key mix. And everybody thinks they are qualified to be a critic The work is relentless, and pay short. They might make the same amount of profit in two weeks as one software developer does in one day, and he didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to help a birthing doe, can take Thanksgiving and Christmas off, and go on vacation or to the movies with the family at will. You should be saying nothing but praises for these people and their determination to be producers. They took necessary corrective action. Why don’t you hold yourself accountable — if you all think you can be so judgemental, you just try running a dairy in your spare time and see if you like the government nose at your shoulder, “wolf” at the door, being a servant of the public, and not enough money or free time to live as well as the people who you are trying to serve the produce to, who, by the way, are some of the same people happy to kick you when you are down just so they can say the word “should”.
      Walk a mile in their shoes, and then lets see what you say.

  • Michael Bulger

    I also hope that more small producers will take the initiative to honestly pursue safety in their products.
    I’d like to highlight a couple of things. To begin with, we don’t know the income of Lucky Hook Dairy, so we can’t say for certain whether or not they would be exempted under the Tester Amendment.
    Here’s what really “gets my goat”. Lucky Hook Dairy is listed on the website realrawmilk.com. This website is run by FTCLDF and WAPF. The description of Lucky Hook Dairy is as follows:
    “At Lucky Hook Farm they’ve been raising healthy dairy animals for 26 years. The Alpine dairy goats are fed organic, alfalfa grass mix hay, and have access to pesticide/herbicide-free pastures of clover and mixed grasses during the growing seasons. They use no antibiotics, steroids or hormones. Milk is sold at the farm in 1/2 and 1 gallon non-reusable plastic containers with tamper-proof caps. Please call for daily availability, (509) 989-6737. They also sell their milk at the Moses Lake Farmers Market downtown during the summer months, (on Wednesdays 2-6 pm and Saturdays 7:30 am to 1 pm), and at a few retail stores: Settlers Country Market, (See listing under Ephrata); Highland Health Foods (See listings under Kennewick and West Richland); Fresh Abundance and Loriens Herbs, (See listings under Spokane). Jessi Ellis, Owner. P.O. Box 1612, Moses Lake, WA 98837.”
    No use of antibiotics? Seems like they deviated from what was advertised.
    Between their false and misleading health claims and their businesses frequently running afoul of safety, I get the feeling that if the fears of government crackdowns were to manifest themselves upon WAPF, they might very well be justified.

  • Doc Mudd

    Such are the splendid vagaries and nuances of fierce self-determination in the hobby farm food system, Michael.
    A handful of amateur producers and a small army of clueless but windy eco-sphincters closely shepherded about by professional activist organizers like WAPF in dedicated service to obtuse agendas.
    Hey, this is the grand sustainable dream, is it not? What could possibly go wrong?

  • http://www.luckyhookfarm.com Jessi

    The Lucky Hook Farm is a small “Mom & Pop” farm. Our annual income produced on the farm is far less than I was making working a full time job that paid only $14,000 per year.
    We are currently milking only 14 goats.
    This recall involved less than 8 gallons of milk in total.
    Normal herd management does not include regular use of antibiotics on this farm. However, when an animal has a life threatening situation that antibiotics are called for, we will use them.
    This was the case when Angie, one of the favorite goats on the farm, came down with an infection two weeks ago.
    Inadvertently, Angie’s milk got mixed into the milk that went out to Fresh Abundance on Wednesday of last week. By Friday morning the suspect milk was nearly 100% accounted for and pulled from the shelves of Fresh Abundance.
    Rest assured that additional safeguards have been put into place so that this situation will not happen in the future.
    We sincerely apologize for this and hope our customers will once again trust that we will continue to produce a safe and wholesome product.
    Sincere Regards,
    Jessi Ellis
    Lucky Hook Farm & Dairy

  • Michael Bulger

    I’m sorry to hear about Angie. I hope she is doing better.
    From what I understand, veterinary drugs have prescribed withholding periods that suggest the length of time the animal needs for the antibiotics to leave their system. I don’t know whether these were not observed or failed, the milk was bottled, and distributed.
    Personally, I shudder when I think about antibiotic residues in my food. I don’t imagine there is a pronounced taste difference, and I don’t like the idea of building up resistant bacteria or transferring r+ plasmids into my body. If you’re not clear on microbiology, antibiotics work on bad bugs in a number of ways. Certain traits can protect bad bugs from antibiotics. When antibiotics are used, particularly at “subtherapeutic” levels, they can select for and promote the growth of bacteria with resistance traits. These traits occur on r+ plasmids which the bad bugs can pass to other bacteria. The other bugs then have resistance traits, too. Antibiotic use leads to antibiotic resistance and is a major public health problem.
    The USDA Organic regulations do not allow a dairy animal back into the herd if it has been treated with antibiotics. This ban is permanent and does not end when the drugs withholding period has expired.
    It might be useful to look into certification programs and transition support programs. Try talking to an expert in safety through your local agriculture/health department. In the meantime, I hope the full 100% of that milk is recovered.

  • Dave

    Mike, I was tempted to do a bash post but decided as it wouldnt be effective with you. So instead Ill just state the facts. Yes, most commonly used medications and dewormers list withdraw times. Penicillin for example has a withdraw of 72 hours. Anyone who raises diary goats knows their withdraw times and adjusts using such medications to prevent “tainted” if you will. Even those of us who dont sell milk but lets say sell the whole goat to dairies, must also follow the rules of withdraw times. So with that being said, its pretty safe to say they knew about the withdraw. So it would be highly unlikely for someone who knows the withdraw time to TEST the milk, KNOWING it would come up tainted. With that accusation dealt with, lets move on to your fear of antibiotic residues in my food. 8 gallons of milk divided amongst 14 does is just over half a gallon each, diluting the “tainted” milk from half a gallon into 8 gallons. Which is why they called it a residue. Now in order for you to building up resistant to bacteria or transferring r+ plasmids due to “tainted” milk, you would need to drink more then the residue from a few penicillin shots spread out over the whole 8 gallons. You almost sounded intelligent there towards the end but a simple search of the net and a quick read would have been more then enough to enlighten you. Regretfully your ignorance would not allow me to not make a bash post… such is life. And knowing the type of person you are, me telling you I stumbled upon this by way of surfing the net and will never return, so posting a reply would be idiotic of you, would make a bit of difference would it. I guess Ill take that little piece of joy with me. Tip of the hat to you Jessi. Hope all turned out well with Angie :) Sorry for fighting on your post. But I am simply unable to let ignorance slide :) Peace