Archive for Thursday, December 6, 2007

Kansas health officials issue raw milk warning

December 6, 2007

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— At least 87 people in southwest and south-central Kansas have been sickened by a bacteria found in raw milk, health officials said.

Citing two recent outbreaks, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Tuesday warned Kansans not to consume raw milk or products made from raw milk.

In Kearny County, 68 people became ill and two of them were hospitalized after eating cheese made from unpasteurized milk donated by a local dairy for a community celebration.

At least 19 others were sickened with campylobacteriosis after drinking raw milk purchased directly from a dairy in south-central Kansas.

The illness usually causes diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, nausea, headache and muscle pain. Most people recover within 10 days, but on rare occasions complications develop.

The names of the dairies were not released, pending the state's investigation.

Elsewhere, Reno County health officials suspected raw milk was to blame for sickening three people in four months.

County Health Department Director Judy Seltzer said the number of people sickened by raw milk seems to be on the rise, possibly because of a move by the public to "organic and natural" foods.

"We're hoping we can help people understand that it's best, if they're going to use raw milk, that they take steps in processing to be sure it is essentially pasteurized."

Comments

scundith 7 years, 8 months ago

It's unfortunate that some recently have been sickened. I wish them a speedy recovery. As a Registered Dietitian with Midwest Dairy Council, I would like to point out an easy step consumers can take to protect their health: choose pasteurized milk and dairy products it's a matter of food safety. Since its introduction over a century ago, pasteurization has been recognized around the world as an essential tool for protecting public health. In fact, the dairy industry, the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recommend that no one consume unpasteurized milk. And while pasteurization simply and effectively kills harmful pathogens, it does not affect the taste or the nutritional value of milk. People can continue to enjoy pasteurized milk and other dairy products while knowing that these foods, which are among the most tested and regulated foods in the country, are extremely safe for all Americans to consume. - Steph Cundith, MS, RD, LD

Xwards 7 years, 8 months ago

When we were kids, my mom had a thing about the healthfulness of raw milk. We'd all have to drive out to a dairy to get milk that hadn't been pasteurized. She's gone now so I can't ask her, but I wonder what the problem with pasteurized milk was.

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