Food & Drinks

Raw milk recalled in California after testing finds Campylobacter bacteria

Raw sheep milk produced and packaged by Valley Milk Simply Bottled of Stanislaus County is the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine after testing found Campylobacter jejuni bacteria in the product.

The quarantine order came from California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones following the confirmed detection of the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni in the farm’s packaged raw whole sheep milk sampled and tested by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. 

Valley Milk Simply Bottled is based in Modesto. According to the company’s Facebook page, milk from the dairy farm in Modesto is delivered to more than 25 locations across California every week. Federal law prohibits the interstate transportation and sale of raw dairy products.

Recalled products:

  • The raw sheep milk is distributed in half-gallon (64 oz) plastic jugs and labeled as “Valley Milk Simply Bottled Raw Sheep Milk”.
  • The recall order applies to products marked on the container with expiration code dates of SEP 28 2022 through OCT 01 2022.

Consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any product remaining in their refrigerators.  The current order does not include the farm’s raw cow milk or raw goat milk.

As of the posting of this recall, no illnesses have been reported.

About Campylobacter infections
People with Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. Nausea and vomiting may accompany the diarrhea. These symptoms usually start two to five days after the person ingests Campylobacter and last about one week.

Sometimes Campylobacter infections cause complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, temporary paralysis, and arthritis.

In people with weakened immune systems, such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a life-threatening infection.

Campylobacter infection symptoms can mimic other illnesses. It is diagnosed when a laboratory test detects Campylobacter bacteria in stool, body tissue, or fluids. The test could be a culture that isolates the bacteria or a rapid diagnostic test that detects the genetic material of the bacteria.

Most people recover from Campylobacter infection without antibiotic treatment. Patients should drink extra fluids as long as diarrhea lasts.

Some people with, or at risk for, severe illness might need antibiotic treatment. These people include those who are 65 years or older, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy.

Some types of antibiotics may not work for some types of Campylobacter. When antibiotics are necessary, healthcare providers can use laboratory tests to help determine which type of antibiotics will likely be effective. People who are prescribed antibiotics should take them exactly as directed and tell their healthcare provider if they do not feel better.

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