After two people were sickened by Campylobacter, the New York state departments of health and agriculture on Thursday warned consumers in Tompkins County and surrounding areas not to drink unpasteurized milk produced at Jerry Dell Farm in Freeville, due to possible contamination.
The state Health Department said it notified the farm on Sept. 22 that two people who had consumed its raw milk were infected with Campylobacter enteritis.
Tests completed Thursday at the New York State Food Laboratory found that the unpasteurized milk produced at Jerry Dell Farm, and collected on Sept. 22, contained Campylobacter, the health department said.
The farm had voluntarily suspended milk sales and will be prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of pathogens.
The health department advised anyone who still has milk purchased from Jerry Dell Farm to discard it immediately, and said individuals experiencing gastrointestinal illness symptoms after consuming milk purchased from Jerry Dell Farm should contact their health care provider.
Jerry Dell Farm holds a permit to legally sell raw milk at the farm. Producers who sell raw milk to consumers in New York must have a permit and must sell directly to consumers on the farm where the milk is produced. These producers must also 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 monthly by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Marketing.
Raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Campylobacter. Campylobacter can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, and muscle pain. The illness usually occurs two to five days after ingestion and generally lasts for seven to 10 days, but severe cases can lead to complications, including paralysis.