Organic Pastures Dairy has recalled batches of contaminated raw whole milk commercialized in California, after the products tested positive for dangerous bacteria.
The recall was ordered by the California Department of Food Administration (CDFA), after a routine inspection proved that the samples which had been collected were tainted with campylobacter bacteria.
The Organic Pastures Dairy products which have been contaminated are labeled as “Grade-A raw milk”, and they have the code date of OCT 24, the CDFA has announced in a press release.
This isn’t the first time that the The Fresno, California-based company was subject to a statewide recall and quarantine. Actually, three such incidents were reported in 2012, in March, May and September.
Also, back in November 2011, the dairy product manufacturer was in deep water when a cluster of children who had consumed its raw milk contracted E. Coli. Three of the patients required hospitalization for hemolytic uremic syndrome, a severe condition which can result in kidney failure.
Although initially laboratory samples containing Organic Pastures raw milk hadn’t signaled the presence of E.Coli, epidemiological data identified by the California Department of Public Heath confirmed that this had been the source of contamination.
As a result, the company was forced to recall all its raw dairy items, except for cheese which had been aged for a minimum of 60 days.
It appears that this time the recall involves another bacteria, which can also pose severe health risks. Normally, campylobacteriosis, which occurs when people are infected with this pathogen, manifests itself as a typical food poisoning.
Initial signs appear 2 to 5 days following exposure, and they tend to include abdominal pain, cramps, fever and diarrhea. The illness usually lasts approximately a week, and some people may even be asymptomatic.
However, the infection is much more dangerous for young kids and patients with compromised immune systems, because it can spread to the bloodstream, causing life-threatening bacteremia.
Moreover, campylobacteriosis can lead to long-term disorders, in some rare cases. For example, some people can be affected by arthritis, while others may develop a rare autoimmune disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome.
This muscle weakness and paralysis appears because the immune system begins to attack peripheral nervous system, wreaking havoc in the body.
So far, the CDFA hasn’t reported any illnesses following consumption of Organic Pastures raw milk. However, given the above-mentioned dangers associated with campylobacter, health officials urge consumers who have bought items that are subject to this recall to immediately discard them.
An exact list of the retail stores where the products had been distributed hasn’t been provided by authorities, and it’s unknown if the tainted batches have also been sold in other states.
Therefore, it is advisable for people to be on alert when consuming raw milk or related food items, because lack of pasteurization can make these products more susceptible to bacterial contamination.
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