Warning issued after testing finds Listeria in raw milk; production shut down

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is warning consumers about Listeria monocytogenes discovered in raw milk from Hawthorne Valley Association in Ghent, NY. 

Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball is advising consumers not to consume unpasteurized raw milk from Hawthorne Valley Association Inc. because of the Listeria monocytogenes contamination. 

A sample of the milk collected by an inspector from the department was discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On May 5 the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result. Further laboratory testing, completed on May 12, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample. 

The producer is now prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of harmful bacteria.

As of the posting of this warning, no illnesses have been reported to the Department associated with this product.

The Department recommends that any consumers who purchased raw milk from Hawthorne Valley Association, Inc. immediately dispose of it.

About Listeria infections

Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any recalled product and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure.

Anyone who has drank any of the raw milk should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, persistent fever, muscle aches, severe headache, and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

Pregnant women, the elderly, young children, and people such as cancer patients who have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk of serious illnesses, life-threatening infections, and other complications. Although infected pregnant women may experience only mild, flu-like symptoms, their infections can lead to premature delivery, infection of the newborn, or even stillbirth.

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