Pennsylvania dairy's raw milk is linked to listeriosis death

March 21, 2016

A Pennsylvania dairy that supplies raw milk around the country has been linked to two cases of listeriosis, one of them fatal, according to health authorities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said one person in California and one in Florida became infected from in 2014. The Florida victim died.

Officials say the source is believed to be milk from Miller's Organic Farm located in Bird-in-Hand in Lancaster County. Miller's Organic Farm, which isn't licensed by or inspected by the state agriculture department, doesn't do retail sales but does business via mail order to a membership club.

Owner Amos Miller told reporters that the company is still selling raw milk and hasn't gotten any complaints from members.

Health officials said the source of the illnesses wasn't known until January, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration informed the CDC that whole genome sequencing of Listeria bacteria from raw chocolate milk produced by the farm in November 2015 was genetically related to samples taken from two affected individuals. State and federal said they were concerned that there might be further contamination of raw milk and raw dairy products distributed by the company.

Raw milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli and Campylobacter. Officials say consumption of unpasteurized dairy products poses a risk for foodborne illness, and children younger than 5, the elderly, pregnant women and those with are at special risk for infection-related complications.

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