Agriculture

Bacteria concern prompts recall of raw milk sold from Modesto-area dairy farm

What to do if you think you have a recalled product

There are many numbers and dates on the foods, drugs, cosmetics, and other products we use every day. When unsafe products must be removed from the market, these numbers and dates can help identify them quickly.
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There are many numbers and dates on the foods, drugs, cosmetics, and other products we use every day. When unsafe products must be removed from the market, these numbers and dates can help identify them quickly.

A state agency Wednesday ordered a recall of raw milk sold from a Modesto-area dairy farm because of concern about bacteria. No illnesses were reported.

The product came from Valley Milk Simply Bottled, on Maze Boulevard about four miles west of the city, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said. The agency placed a quarantine on the farm, which bars further production for now, said Steve Lyle, director of public affairs at CDFA.

Its routine testing of packaged milk found the campylobacter jejuni bacteria, which can cause digestive trouble and fever, a news release said. It added that the illness is mild for most people.

The recall involves whole milk sold in plastic gallon jugs between March 11 and 19. The CDFA urges consumers to dispose of it.

Lyle said state law allows the sale to consumers of milk that has not been pasteurized, but the producers must follow other standards for food safety.

The Modesto Bee could not reach Valley Milk Simply Bottled for comment It is one of five California producers of raw milk, which is a tiny portion of the total volume.

Lyle said investigators are still looking into exactly how the milk was tainted.

The business has no connection with Valley Milk LLC, which produces milk powder at a year-old plant in west Turlock.

Advocates say raw milk has flavor and health benefits that can be diminished by pasteurization, which is done with heat.

CDFA said the symptoms of campylobacteria infection include diarrhea, abdominal cramps and fever. The illness usually occurs two to five days after exposure and lasts about a week. Some exposed people have no symptoms.

The agency warned that some consumers with compromised immune systems can have life-threatening infections. A small percentage of people may have joint pain and swelling. Several weeks after the initial illness, some can develop Guillain-Barre syndrome, which causes weakness and paralysis.

More information on raw milk is on the CDFA website.

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