Investigators have identified Utah Natural Meat and Milk as the source of unpasteurized raw milk that has sickened people in the state.

At least 14 people have contracted infections from Campylobacter, according to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. One patient who was hospitalized has been released. Patients range in age from 2 to 73 years old.

The implicated dairy is in West Jordan, according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.

According to the health department, only two patients reported drinking raw milk before becoming sick. The department continues to urge people only to drink milk that has been pasteurized.

“Since 2009, in Utah, there have been 25 documented outbreaks of Campylobacter infection associated with raw milk consumption. Those outbreaks have collectively resulted in 295 people becoming ill,” according to a notice from the Salt Lake County health department.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the Food and Drug Administration and most state and local health departments across the country, also recommend against consuming unpasteurized, raw milk and products made from it. Raw dairy products can contain various pathogens, including Listeria, E. coli, campylobacter, Salmonella, and hepatitis A. 

Contaminated raw milk and products made from it do not look, smell, or taste bad, and there is no way for consumers to detect pathogens in it without laboratory testing.

It is illegal for retailers in Utah to sell raw milk. Farms that sell raw milk directly to consumers must have special licenses. 

About campylobacter infections
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, outbreaks have been associated with unpasteurized dairy products, contaminated water, poultry, and produce. People also can become infected from contact with dog or cat feces. Person-to-person spread of Campylobacter is uncommon.

Many people recover in a week, but Campylobacter infection can have long-term consequences, such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS).

Azithromycin and fluoroquinolones, such as ciprofloxacin, are commonly used for treatment, but resistance to fluoroquinolones is common.

Campylobacter infection symptoms usually begin two to five days after exposure and are characterized by diarrhea (frequently bloody), abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. More severe illnesses can occur, including bloodstream infection and symptoms mimicking acute appendicitis or ulcerative colitis.

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