Raw milk disease outbreak in Pennsylvania sends authorities scrambling

Raw milk disease outbreak in Pennsylvania sends authorities scrambling

One person is dead after an outbreak of disease in Pennsylvania has been traced to the growing raw milk craze.

One person in Florida is dead and another in California is ill after a listeria outbreak that has been traced to raw milk.

The popularity of raw milk has been growing by leaps in bounds in recent years, particularly among the alternative medicine and all-natural living community, which believes that pasteurization and other modern safety practices are largely unnecessary. However, health officials often warn that outbreaks of disease due to raw milk will happen, and authorities have linked two cases of listeria from two years ago to raw milk from an organic farm in Pennsylvania, according to a News4Jax.com report.

Listeriosis is an infection of the gastrointestinal tract that can result in high fever, diarrhea, and a number of other symptoms, sometimes resulting in death for those with weakened immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating Miller’s Organic Farm over suspicions that it was the origin of the 2014 listeria cases that sickened one person in California and killed another in Florida. Both of them had consumed raw milk.

Raw milk is unpasteurized. Pasteurization kills bacteria including listeria as well as salmonella and E.coli, which often thrive in untreated animal byproducts.

The CDC urged people to avoid consuming raw milk or other unpasteurized dairy products.

The farm’s chocolate milk tested positive for listeria in November 2015 from a Food and Drug Administration sample. The FDA informed the CDC, which investigated and found the farm may be connected to two listeria cases.

“Raw milk and raw dairy products can pose severe health risks, including death, especially for people at higher risk for foodborne illness, including children younger than 5, pregnant women, adults 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems,” the CDC stated. “We recommend that people drink and eat only pasteurized dairy products. Learn more about the dangers of drinking raw milk at the CDC Food Safety and Raw Milk website.


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