Producers of organic milk sold in parts of New York are recalling an undisclosed amount of whole milk after state inspectors found the product was improperly pasteurized.

Pelleh Farms Inc. in Swan Lake, NY, voluntarily recalled the Bethel Creamery brand whole, non-homogenized, organic milk, according to a consumer alert from New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.  

“Proper pasteurization heats milk to effectively eliminate all pathogenic bacteria, such as Listeria and Salmonella,” according to the consumer alert. 

“To date, no illnesses have been reported to the department in connection with this product. … Routine inspection conducted by the Department revealed that this lot of product was improperly pasteurized.”

The alert did not include any specific details about the pasteurization failure. Pelleh Farms Inc. sold the organic milk in Rockland County, NY, and Brooklyn, NY.

There is concern that consumers may have unused portions of the recalled milk in their homes because it has a use-by date of April 8. The consumer alert did not provide any other identifying information for the 64-ounce plastic containers of Bethel Creamery branded milk. 

Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to 161 degrees F for 15 seconds.

“Pasteurization of milk is an effective means of preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness, including tuberculosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis, scarlet fever, and listeriosis. It was first used in the United States more than 100 years ago and has been widely used for more than a half-century,” says John Sheehan, an FDA expert on the safety of dairy products.

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