A Texas company is recalling a limited amount of half gallon plastic bottles of whole chocolate milk, half pint paper cartons of whole chocolate milk, and half pint paper cartons of 1% chocolate milk that may not have been adequately pasteurized.
The Oak Farms Dairy plant in Waco said routine testing revealed the affected milk contained alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme naturally present in raw milk, but not in milk that has been sufficiently pasteurized. Because the milk may not have been pasteurized sufficiently, it is possible that contaminants including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, and/or E. coli, may have survived and, if ingested, could cause gastrointestinal infection and its potential ensuing complications, the recall announcement states.
There have been no reports of illnesses related to the affected milk.
The recall involves approximately 64,000 units of chocolate milk, which was distributed in Texas (San Antonio, Austin, Waco, Temple, Killeen, Hillsboro, Mexia, Wichita Falls, Lindale and Jacksonville) through numerous retail outlets, schools and food service settings. The company is notifying customers and is retrieving the affected product.
In a news release, the company said records reflect – and subsequent testing confirms – that this issue was limited in scope to milk processed during a two-hour window, Oak Farms Dairy stated in a news release. The company said it confirmed that all pasteurization equipment was performing to standard, and the Texas Department of State Health Services returned to the plant and found the pasteurizer, pressure differentials and flow rates operating normally.
Cause of the positive test result is under investigation, and the company said it initiated the voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution.
The recall includes only half gallon plastic bottles of whole chocolate milk, half pint paper cartons of whole chocolate milk, and half pint paper cartons of 1% chocolate milk that carry the Oak Farms Dairy name and the plant code 48-3302. Packages are printed with a “BEST BY” or “SELL BY” date of March 22, 2011 (printed as MAR 22 on paper half pints, 03/22/11 on plastic half gallons) and a UPC code of 4127100724, 7002635006 or 7002635007. Only packages with the plant code 48-3302 are being recalled.
Distribution of the affected product was limited in scope. Therefore, consumers should only be concerned with products carrying the following Individual Universal Product Codes (UPCs) and plant code 48-3302:
No other Oak Farms Dairy products are affected. In particular, the recall does not impact any Oak Farms Dairy products in Dallas or Houston.
Consumers who have this product should not consume it. They should discard it and may return the product package to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange. Consumers with questions can contact the company at 1-800-681-2249.
The Texas Department of State Health Services and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been notified of this voluntary recall.