California is into the second week of a statewide recall and quarantine of raw milk produced and packaged by Modesto-based Valley Milk Simply Bottled.
It is one of five producers bottling raw milk in California.
California’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Annette Jones, issued the quarantine order after the confirmed detection of the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni in the farm’s packaged raw whole milk sampled and tested by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA).
The raw milk is sold in one-gallon plastic jugs and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators that were purchased or received on 3/11/19 through 3/19/19.
CDFA found the campylobacter bacteria in a routine sample collected at the Valley Milk Simply Bottled production and packaging facility. No illnesses have been reported.
Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Most people with campylobacteriosis recover completely. The illness usually occurs 2 to 5 days after exposure to Campylobacter and lasts about a week.
The illness is usually mild and some people with campylobacteriosis have no symptoms at all. However, in some persons with compromised immune systems, it can cause a serious, life-threatening infection. A small percentage of people may have joint pain and swelling after infection. In addition, a rare disease called Guillain-Barre syndrome that causes weakness and paralysis can occur several weeks after the initial illness.
Neither CDFA or Valley Milk have provided any updates since the recall and quarantine were announced on March 20. Food Safety News invited Valley Milk to comment without a response.
California permits retail sale of raw milk produced by dairy farms that meet CDFA’s health and sanitary requirments. Raw milk dairy farms must obtain a Market Milk Permit. Cows or goats, producing raw milk, must be tested and found non-reactive to annual tuberculin and brucellosis testing.
California’s Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch (MDFS) inspect dairy farms and bottling plants, collecting milk samples for laboratory testing. Dairy employees and facilities must meet sanitary standards and raw milk at the time of delivery must meet specific bacterial levels to be deemed safe.
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