A Listeria outbreak that sickened two people of whom one eventually died of complications was traced back to raw milk manufactured by a Pennsylvania farm.
The outbreak occurred two years ago, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigators were able to identify the source only now. One patient was from California and another one from Florida. The latter, unfortunately, died.
According to a CDC report released Mar. 18, the outbreak was caused by contaminated unpasteurized milk from Miller’s Organic Farm.
Investigators found that the milk was used in chocolate milk sold under the same brand after they performed a genetic testing. Tests showed that the same strain of the bacteria was found in the two patients and the company’s raw chocolate milk.
Amos Miller, the owner of the organic farm, told reporters that the firm sells its products only to the members of a private club. The company never supplied raw milk products to retail stores or people outside the club.
The company also said that it has been selling raw milk ever since 2014, and there weren’t any reports about health problems. At the time of the interview, Miller wasn’t sure whether the outbreak was traced to its company’s products.
“We hope and pray for the best,”
Symptoms of Listeria infection, also known as Listeriosis, are usually visible after a few days from consuming a contaminated product. Symptoms vary from fever, headaches, and muscle pain to confusion and seizures.
Doctors caution that the infection can become deadly if it reaches the brain or the bloodstream and the patient has a weak immune system or an underlying medical condition.
Though authorities didn’t issues any recall request for Miller’s Organic Farm’s products, CDC cautioned that contamination of raw milk may happen again as it isn’t unclear whether the conditions that caused the 2014 outbreak may still exist at the farm.
In recent years, several Listeria outbreaks plagued the U.S. In 2015, an outbreak was linked to ice cream produced by Blue Bell Creameries. Ten people were infected of whom three were killed. The company had to recall all its assortments of ice cream in 23 states.
A year prior, about 30 people got sick and seven were killed after contracting Listeriosis from pre-packaged caramel apples. But one of the worst Listeria outbreaks in recent years killed 33 people and sickened more than 140 nationwide in 2011. That outbreak was tied to cantaloupes produced by a Colorado farm.
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