A raw milk producer in New Zealand has issued a recall after a couple of people fell sick.

It is the second time in the space of a few months that Campylobacter infections have been linked to Lindsay Farm brand organic raw milk.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said two potentially associated illnesses had been reported. 

Raw, or unpasteurized, drinking milk was sold in a plastic 2-liter bottle. Affected lot numbers are 2612, 2712, 2812, 2912, 3112, 0101, 0201, 0301, and 0401. Use-by dates range from Dec. 30, 2023, to Jan. 8, 2024. It was sold in the Hawke’s Bay region via home deliveries and several registered depots.

MPI urged anyone who had purchased the affected product not to drink it and to return it to the retailer for a refund. It can be consumed after heating to 70 degrees C (158 degrees F) and held at this temperature for one minute.

Previous and other incidents
A Campylobacter outbreak was reported to Hawke’s Bay Public Health Service in November 2023, involving three confirmed cases. All three had consumed Lindsay Farm raw milk and specific batches of the product were recalled in mid-November.

From 2019 to mid-2023, 10 outbreaks in New Zealand were associated with people drinking raw milk.

In 2022, Lindsay Farm was fined for not following rules around the sale and supply of raw milk. The company said it didn’t initially sign up for the raw milk legislation because of restrictions about distribution. A Campylobacter outbreak was linked to milk from the company in August 2020. After this, they registered under the regulations.

Other recent outbreaks in New Zealand include one due to Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens in October 2023 that involved 12 cases, of which two were confirmed and 10 were probable. The setting was a catered private event, and the source was a chicken curry.

Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens were identified from clinical samples and leftover curry. Staphylococcus aureus was also isolated from clinical samples. MPI and council staff identified issues with the cooling process used and issued the premises with an improvement notice.

An outbreak of typhoid fever occurred among seasonal workers in Tairawhiti. Tairawhiti public health investigated the incident that included eight patients. Cases were all employees who lived in shared accommodation. The most likely source was a worker who did all the cooking for the group and had recently been overseas.

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