Three more people in San Diego have been confirmed to have Salmonella infections linked to raw, unpasteurized milk from Raw Farm LLC dairy in California. Another seven people are now sick in Orange County.
As of Oct. 26 there are a 19 outbreak patients. Three of the patients, all children, have been so sick they required hospitalization. The San Diego County health department reports that the illnesses began in mid-September with the most recent person becoming ill on Oct. 17.
The California Department of Public Health posted a recall of Raw Farm LLC milk and heavy cream Oct. 24, and posted a PDF that contains the specific product identification numbers with “best by” dates between Oct. 11 and Nov. 6.
“The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency urges anyone who may have recently purchased Raw Farm LLC raw milk to not consume it and discard the product,” according to a public warning.
Federal law prohibits the sale of raw milk across state lines, but the recall notice states that the Raw Farm’s unpasteurized milk was distributed in multiple states.
All 12 San Diego residents who became sick with the Salmonella infections reported drinking raw, unpasteurized milk from Raw Farm LLC during the week before becoming ill.
Patients in other parts of the state are being tracked by CDPH and other local health departments. The county health department notice says the raw milk patients are not part of a larger, multi-state outbreak associated with Gill’s diced onions.
Raw milk, sometimes referred to as “natural” milk, has not gone through the pasteurization process that heats the milk to a high temperature for a short period of time to kill harmful germs that can contaminate raw milk. These germs can include Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and other bacteria, viruses and parasites. Pasteurization is the only effective method for eliminating most harmful germs in raw milk or milk products and it does not significantly change dairy’s nutritional value, according to public health officials at the local, state and federal levels..
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against the consumption of raw milk and related products. People most at risk for severe illness are adults 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years of age, and individuals with weakened immune systems.
About Salmonella infections
Food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria does not usually look, smell, or taste spoiled. Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection. Infants, children, seniors, and people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are fragile, according to the CDC.
Anyone who has consumed any of the recalled raw milk or cream and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should immediately seek medical attention. Sick people should tell their doctors about the possible exposure to Salmonella bacteria because special tests are necessary to diagnose salmonellosis. Salmonella infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses, frequently leading to misdiagnosis.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Otherwise, healthy adults are usually sick for four to seven days. In some cases, however, diarrhea may be so severe that patients require hospitalization.
Older adults, children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as cancer patients, are more likely to develop a severe illness and serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions.
Some people get infected without getting sick or showing any symptoms. However, they may still spread the infections to others.
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