News

Recall on raw milk distributed in Palo Alto

Six Bay Area residents seriously ill; recall affects Palo Alto-based distributor

The state Department of Public Health is warning the public of the dangers of consuming raw milk after six Bay Area residents fell seriously ill, state public health officials announced Tuesday.

A statewide recall has been issued for the farm from which the milk came, Claravale Farm in San Benito County, after raw milk and raw cream samples tested positive for campylobacter, but there were no reported illnesses associated with the products, state public health officials said.

One of the farm's distributors is Real Food Bay Area, a Palo Alto-based organization that makes deliveries in Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties. Real Food Bay Area owner Christina Hildebrand said Thursday that the recall "hasn't affected us adversely in any way" and she arranged for customers to receive raw milk from other licensed sources.

All six patients were diagnosed with campylobacteriosis, a bacterial infection that occurs after consuming contaminated raw milk, public health officials said.

Those with the infection may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, nausea and vomiting within two to five days after exposure, according to public health officials.

The infection can persist for a week or more, state public health officials said.

Young children, the elderly and people with weak or compromised immune systems may have a severe reaction to the illness, according to public health officials.

While most people with the infection make a full recovery, some are left with long-term arthritis or paralysis, public health officials said.

Animal milk can be contaminated with dangerous bacteria if it has not been pasteurized to kill germs, public health officials said.

In the past decade nationwide, the consumption of raw milk has led to outbreaks including campylobacter, E. coli and salmonella, many involving young children, according to public health officials.

It is difficult to determine if milk is contaminated because the beverage does not have a smell or appearance distinct from uncontaminated milk, public health officials said.

Sales of raw milk are legal from some dairies in the state, but state public health officials do not recommend people drink it or serve it to children.

Products with raw milk have a warning label informing consumers of the potential microorganisms inside and the potential health risks if it is consumed.

Products with code dates of March 28 or earlier should be disposed, public health officials said.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

1 person likes this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 26, 2015 at 9:06 am

Is selling raw milk even legal?


1 person likes this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2015 at 9:17 am

@Mr. Recycle:

Per the article:

"Sales of raw milk are legal from some dairies in the state, but state public health officials do not recommend people drink it or serve it to children."

You would likely find this in upscale/gourmet stores. My guess is that you might find it at Whole Foods Markets. I believe I've purchased it from Piazza's (I cooked with it).


5 people like this
Posted by Maurice
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

The dangers of drinking unpasteurized milk have been known for many years.
" natural" is not always healthier


Like this comment
Posted by HappySun
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:34 am

HAPPY COWS HAVE NOT Raw BUT THE BEST "FRESH" MILK!!!!!


6 people like this
Posted by cur mudgeon
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Mar 26, 2015 at 11:07 am

I used to drink raw milk in the 70s from the Alta Dena dairy in southern California, as well as (literally)from the cow on my uncle's farm. Just sayin'. There is at least as much illness from raw greens, but we don't hear about it.


6 people like this
Posted by Ellen
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 26, 2015 at 11:23 am

What have eggs got to do with this?


2 people like this
Posted by Jay Park
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 26, 2015 at 12:32 pm

@Ellen:

Eggs don't have anything to do with this raw milk recall.

The photograph was repurposed from an article published in October 2014.

Web Link

Sometime photos from previous articles are used to illustrate a new one. In this case, the milk pictured above is indeed from Claravale Farm.


4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 26, 2015 at 1:19 pm

nobody makes you to drink it.


19 people like this
Posted by Raw milk drinker
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Raw milk is real milk with all its enzymes, vitamins and beneficial bacteria intact. Pasteurized milk is a highly processed food. Not only do they cook the milk at temperatures that kill all the benefits, they skim off the cream then add it back to a "standardized" amount which is far less then what comes from the cow. Then to compensate for the removed fat, they add in hydrogenated fats and milk solids. It's nothing like the real stuff.

It's interesting to watch the fear mongering from the state (promoted by the big dairy lobby) urging people to steer clear of raw milk. Californians eat sushi all the time which certainly holds at least as great of risk as raw milk but I don't see the state trying to ban that. And there have been many reports of salmonella, E. coli, etc in chicken, beef, salmon, etc but the state isn't urging us to stop eating meat and fish. What about the E. Coli spinach illnesses a couple of years back. Did you all stop eating spinach and other greens?

This is a ridiculous fear tactic being used in attempt to shut down a great dairy. I'd love to hear the real story on the campy outbreak. The story has two conflicting statements. At the beginning it says 6 people have been sickened by the milk. Who are those 6 people and did they find campy in their milk bottles? The end of the story says there have been no reported illnesses associated with the products. The reporter should get the whole story straight, including all the pertinent facts, before posting an article like this.


5 people like this
Posted by ChrisC
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 26, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Raw milk producers usually have cleaner facilities than those who pasteurize, because the Health Dept. is so strict with them and all the other milk producers want to drive them out of business. I'm sad to know of this incident. The second paragraph seems to contradict the first one.


2 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 26, 2015 at 9:47 pm

@Raw milk drinker - There is no hydrogenated fat in pasteurized milk, you may be confusing it with homogenization, which is common, but optional (you can get cream top, unhomogenized, pasteurized milk at most grocery stores.


2 people like this
Posted by my take
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:25 pm

There are some benefits to raw milk (enzymes, antibodies, helpful bacteria) and these benefits outweigh the risks (harmful bacteria) for healthy adults. However, the risks likely outweigh the benefits for children (with less experienced immune systems). It's fine IMO for a healthy adult to choose to consume raw milk and take the chance of an unpleasant GI illness. OTOH it's unconscionable for that adult to expose his/her vulnerable child to heightened risks (severe and potentially even fatal GI illness).


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 26, 2015 at 10:49 pm

Skimming the comments prompted a glance back at the eggs in the photo,
and I read the caption as "from pasteurized poultry".

I was about to google that when I realized it said "pastured" poultry,
a term new to me. We always called that approach "free range".


11 people like this
Posted by Raw Milk Drinker 808
a resident of another community
on Mar 26, 2015 at 11:19 pm

I used to think people who drank raw milk were crazy. I even started to do research to prove to my best friend how dangerous it was, so she would stop "endangering" her children. Instead, I accidentally learned WAY more than I'd ever wanted to know about the dairy industry. Suddenly, I too, found myself a raw milk drinker. Why? How? I know, right! Read those labels and understand what's in there. Your average lowfat milk contains Vitamin A Palmitate. When milk processing removes beneficial fats(gotta make butter, right?), they add in Vitamin A Palmitate to compensate. Palmitate is a component of Palm Oil and is highly processed to be combined with milk. According to the World Health Organization, it's in the same category as trans fatty acids and increases cardiovascular disease risks.
And Vitamin D3(right there on the label), is meant to help with calcium absorption, but isn't naturally found in milk, and, being synthetic, is suspected of contributing to allergies and autoimmune disease.
Is this information easy to find? No. Did I ever want the know? Nope. But, now that I do, I can't just sit idly by and let people who don't know what they're talking about rant about stupidity.


6 people like this
Posted by EG
a resident of Stanford
on Mar 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm

"six Bay Area residents fell seriously ill, [...] but there were no reported illnesses associated with the products"

Which is it??


3 people like this
Posted by raw milk drinker
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 27, 2015 at 12:41 pm

We drink raw milk and our whole family is fine. But I don't understand the article. It states "six Bay Area residents fell seriously ill" but then it states "but there were no reported illnesses associated with the (referring to Claravale) products". So where did the six bay are residents get sick from?


Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 27, 2015 at 1:05 pm

@Raw Milk Drinker 808 - if you don't want palmitate added to your milk, you can just drink whole milk, you don't need to go to raw milk. That said, there isn't much evidence that it is bad for you, other than being a dietary fat, but if you are drinking raw milk, how concerned are you about fat intake?


Like this comment
Posted by Raw milk drinker
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 29, 2015 at 8:03 am

@ Mr Recycle: I apologize- I meant to say that when milk is standardized they add back in dehydrated fats and solids (not hydrogenated).

@ my take: you really should do some research on the benefits of raw milk before you decide that feeding raw milk to children is tantamount to child abuse. And furthermore you'd better keep your kids away from chicken, beef, fish, peanut butter, fresh greens, etc because those can be tainted with bacteria too. My point is that any food could possibly make you sick. Raw milk production is highly regulated and the fact that a tiny bit of bacteria MAY have slipped through does not make raw milk, produced by a responsible dairy, unsafe to drink (remember that Claravale produces thousands of bottles of milk and six "possible" cases of illness have been reported).


Like this comment
Posted by Raw milk drinker
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 29, 2015 at 8:20 am

I just saw this chart while reading an article on pasteurized, homogenized milk. Such sad statistics on the way big dairy farms operate in this country today. How can anybody say that raw milk is dangerous then consume milk produced by cows contained on factory farms, in filthy conditions, that never see pasture and eat food not intended for ruminants which is laced with antibiotics and hormones? And feel they are consuming a safer, healthier food? It astonishes me.

2b) Homogenized Milk: Rocket Fuel for Cancer by Robert Cohen, health101.org & www.notmilk.com

A=Year
B=Number of cows in America (millions)
C=Billion pounds of milk produced in America each year
D=Quarts of milk produced per cow each day
E=Population of the United States in millions
F=Average daily consumption of milk per person (pounds)
G=Number of persons (daily milk consumption) supplied by one cow

A B C D E F G

1930 22.2 100.2 5.6 123.2 2.2 5.6
1940 23.7 109.4 5.8 132.2 2.3 5.6
1950 21.9 116.6 6.6 151.3 2.1 6.9
1960 17.5 123.1 8.8 179.3 1.9 10.2
1970 12.0 117.0 12.1 203.3 1.6 16.6
1980 10.8 128.4 14.8 226.5 1.6 20.4
1990 10.2 147.7 18.0 248.8 1.6 24.8
1998 9.3 156.6 22.3 270.0 1.6 30.7


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