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Posted in Raw Milk on February 9, 2024
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued a warning to immediately discard all raw milk from Conoco View Dairy sold in Cumberland, Juniata, Perry, Snyder, and York counties due to potential contamination with the harmful bacterium, Campylobacter.
The recall was initiated after 11 reports of Campylobacter infection were linked to the farm’s dairy products.
The recall involves all dairy products made from raw milk produced by Conoco View Dairy sold in Cumberland, Juniata, Perry, Snyder, and York Counties, or delivered direct to homes or drop-off points in Cumberland, Dauphin, Juniata, and Perry Counties.
The product was sold in plastic pints, quarts, gallons as well as glass quarts. These products were also sold at the dairy’s retail outlet at 410 Clarks Run Road in Blain, Perry County.
The dairy also delivers directly to drop-off points in Harrisburg, Carlisle, Enola, and Mechanicsburg.
In addition to the direct sales, Conoco View Dairy was also sold in select retail locations.
According to the report, “while the source of the bacteria is clear, every specific production date could not be pinpointed. All products, including those in consumers’ freezers, should be discarded.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture began an investigation after 11 reports of campylobacteriosis, the illness associated with Campylobacter bacterial infection, in December 2023 and January 2024. Subsequently, traceback investigation details lead to raw milk and Campylobacter bacteria was found in Conoco View Dairy’s dairy products.
Campylobacter is one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrheal illness in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that Campylobacter infection affects 1.5 million people in the United States each year. Many cases go undiagnosed or unreported, as without specific laboratory tests due to severe symptoms, most people do not discover the true cause of their diarrheal illness.
Campylobacter infection, or campylobacteriosis, is caused by ingesting and becoming infected with the Campylobacter bacteria. It doesn’t take much of the bacteria to make someone sick. In fact, just a single drop of juice from raw chicken can contain enough of the harmful bacteria to make someone sick.
Most Campylobacter infections are the result of eating raw or undercooked poultry or eating something that touched it.
While chicken is one of the more common sources of Campylobacter infection, other foods are known to transmit campylobacteriosis as well.
In this case, Campylobacter was found in raw, or unpasteurized milk.
Milk can become contaminated when a cow has an infection in her udder. If She has a Campylobacter infection, the bacteria make its way into her milk.
Additionally, Campylobacter bacteria can be found in manure. If milk is contaminated with manure, the raw milk may contain Campylobacter bacteria.
Pasteurization makes milk safe to drink. The heat cycle process during pasteurization kills lingering bacteria, making it a safer option.
Raw milk is not pasteurized. That is why it is referred to as “raw.” The udder is sanitized, milk is transferred to a container, and then refrigerated. No other treatment is done to remove potential bacterial contamination.
While most normally healthy individuals infected with Campylobacter will completely recover within a week, certain serious or long-term health complications may result from Campylobacter infection.
According to the CDC, an estimated 5 to 20% of people with Campylobacter infection will develop irritable bowel syndrome for awhile. About 1 to 5% will develop a type of arthritis.
A more serious complication occurs in about 1 in 1000 reported Campylobacter cases – Guillain-Barrè syndrome (GBS). In GBS cases, the infection triggers the person’s immune system. The result is muscle weakness, or even paralysis that can last for weeks and often requires intensive medical care. While most people fully from GBS, permanent nerve damage is possible in some cases. An estimated 40% of GBS in the United States is linked to Campylobacter infection.
Common Campylobacter infection include diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. Some people may also experience nausea and vomiting with diarrhea.
In most cases, symptoms begin around 2 to 5 days after ingesting Campylobacter bacteria and usually lasts about a week.
Most people with Campylobacter infection recover on their own without medical intervention and do not need antibiotics. For those at higher risk of severe illness, antibiotic treatment protocols may be given. Campylobacter bacteria do not respond to all antibiotics, so additional testing may be necessary to prescribe the correct antibiotic.
Higher risk categories include:
All people with Campylobacter infection should drink extra fluid as long as diarrheal symptoms persist to decrease risk of dehydration. If prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take them exactly as directed and inform your healthcare provider if you do not feel better. A different antibiotic may be necessary to treat your infection.
If you have become sick from consuming Conoco View Dairy products, you may have questions about what you should do.
Do not continue consuming the Conoco View Dairy products you have in your home. Even if not everyone who has consumed the product has become sick, no one in the household should continue consuming it. If possible, retain packaging for traceback investigation purposes.
If your symptoms are serious, reach out to your healthcare provider. Get plenty of fluids to reduce risk of dehydration. Indicate you may be a part of a Campylobacter outbreak so appropriate diagnostic testing can be ordered.
You can assist in traceback investigation by notifying your local health department of your illness. Additional data can help them get a better idea of the scope of the outbreak and potentially narrow down production dates.
If you have become serious ill with Campylobacter infection from Conoco View Dairy, you may have a legal case. The experienced Campylobacter lawyers at The Lange Law Firm, PLLC can help. Reach out by calling (833) 330-3663 or click here to email for a free consultation.
By: Heather Van Tassell