At least five people in Washington have infections from Campylobactor after drinking unpasteurized, raw milk from Dungeness Valley Creamery. State tests found the bacteria.
The Washington Department of Health reports that the creamery has recalled all of its raw milk with best-by dates of April 13 or earlier. The recall includes milk in gallon, half-gallon, quart and pint containers. It was sold to customers in western Washington in the on-farm store, outside retail stores and drop-off locations.
This is the fifth recall and third outbreak associated with the dairy in the past 12 years.
“. . . we are going to stop production until an internal and external investigation is complete. We have been working with the WSDA and DOH to produce the attached notice that can be displayed where our milk is sold or distributed,” Ryan and Sarah McCarthey, the operators of the dairy, said in a statement.
“We genuinely appreciate the support and partnership we have built with retailers and consumers over the last 15 years. . .”
Anyone who has any of the recalled milk on hand should discard it or return it to the place of purchase. The bacteria is particularly dangerous to the elderly and young children, so anyone who has served the milk to those age groups should monitor them for symptoms.
The health department did not release any details about the ages or conditions of any of the infected people.
The Washington State Department of Health is working with Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and local health investigators during this ongoing investigation.
“Unpasteurized raw milk can carry harmful bacteria and germs. Foodborne illnesses can be caused by many different foods; however, raw milk is one of the riskiest,” said Dr. Scott Lindquist, State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases.
Symptoms of Campylobacter infection include fever, diarrhea (often bloody), nausea, vomiting, malaise and abdominal pain. Most people with Campylobacter infection recover on their own, but some need antibiotic treatment. In severe cases, complications may include reactive arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk for severe illness.
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