Officials have shut down operations at a raw milk dairy and are warning consumers against using unpasteurized milk from Pennings Farm because of positive tests for potentially deadly Listeria monocytogenes.

Initial and followup testing showed the contamination, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. State officials first notified the dairy owners of positive initial test results on Jan. 15, but operations continued. Confirmation testing returned positive results for the pathogen on Jan. 21.

Pennings Farm, Warwick, NY, is now prohibited from selling raw milk until testing shows no contamination. No illnesses have been confirmed in relation to the raw, unpasteurized milk.

Any consumers who have any of the raw milk from Pennings Farm on hand should dispose of it immediately. Anyone who has consumed any of the raw milk should monitor themselves for symptoms of Listeria infection for the following 70 days.

About Listeria infections
Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has consumed any implicated milk and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has consumed any of the Pennings Farm raw milk should monitor themselves — or children who consumed the milk — for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

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