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Ohio Department of Agriculture issues health alert for raw milk

Published: December 2, 2016 12:34 PM

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio - The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is issuing a health alert for unpasteurized raw milk and raw milk products from Sweet Grass Dairy’s herd share, due to contamination with Campylobacter. Sweet Grass Dairy is located in Knox County at 6049 Bryant Rd., Fredericktown, OH 43019.

This alert is the result of an investigation by ODA and the Ohio Department of Health after foodborne illnesses were reported in Franklin County. Later testing confirmed a connection between the illnesses and raw milk from Sweet Grass Dairy.

Campylobacter bacteria may cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting within two to five days after exposure to the organism. Illness can last for up to a week or more and can be especially severe for those who have weakened or compromised immune systems, and for young children and the elderly. Although most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely, some patients do suffer long-term effects, including arthritis and paralysis. Individuals exhibiting signs or symptoms of foodborne illness are encouraged to contact a physician immediately.

People can prevent infection by only consuming pasteurized milk and milk products. Pasteurization is the process in which milk is heated briefly to kill any pathogenic bacteria that might be present. Raw milk has not been pasteurized to kill pathogenic bacteria that can cause illness and is not available for sale in Ohio retail stores. For more information about unpasteurized milk and food safety, consumers may visit http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/raw-milk-index.html.


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