New York Department of Agriculture and Markets officials have spent the past week containing possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination from the Breese Hollow Dairy at Hoosick Falls, NY.

Consumers of raw milk from the Rensselaer County dairy are urged not to drink the unpasteurized milk because of the contamination. The warning came from New York Ag Commissioner Richard Ball, whose action may have prevented any human illnesses from the contamination.

New York inspection personnel discovered the harmful bacteria when they collected and tested routine samples. The Breese Hollow Dairy learned of the test results on April 23.

Additional lab testing confirmed the presence of Listeria in the dairy’s raw milk. The state’s containment strategy included an order prohibiting Breese Hollow from selling raw milk until it is free of bacteria.

Commissioner Ball says consumers who previously purchased raw milk from the dairy located northeast of Albany should not drink it; rather, toss it out.

Raw milk is sold directly from the cow to the public without the benefit of pasteurization, which destroys harmful bacteria before the product gets to the consumer.

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 eaten any recalled product and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Also, anyone who has eaten any of the implicated raw milk should monitor themselves 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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