Published Date: 2012-03-01 21:44:34
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Campylobacteriosis - USA (10): unpasteurized milk
Archive Number: 20120301.1057870
CAMPYLOBACTERIOSIS - USA (10): UNPASTEURIZED MILK
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 1 Mar 2012
Source: Food Safety News [edited]
Since Food Safety News last reported on 24 Feb 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed an additional 2 cases of campylobacteriosis in an outbreak tied to contaminated unpasteurized milk from Your Family Cow dairy in Chambersburg, PA. The latest cases bring the outbreak toll to 80 confirmed illnesses. The 2 new confirmations, both from Pennsylvania, do not have a recent onset, as the emergence of new cases appears to have slowed.
This is the largest foodborne illness linked to raw milk in Pennsylvania history, affecting individuals in 4 states. The breakdown of cases by state is as follows:
Pennsylvania (70 illnesses), Maryland (5), West Virginia (3), New Jersey (2). Illness onset dates for the current outbreak range from 17 Jan 2012 to 1 Feb 2012. At least 9 people have been hospitalized.
Since 2007, Pennsylvania raw milk dairies have been linked to at least 7 outbreaks, now resulting in a total of 287 illnesses. In 2008, the state had a raw milk outbreak of campylobacteriosis that sickened 72 people.
Although the Your Family Cow dairy temporarily halted sales upon discovery of the outbreak, the farm was allowed to resume production on 6 Feb 2012, after passing a health inspection.
Of the 80 confirmed cases, 25 (31 percent) are under the age of 18, while all those ill ranged in age from 2 to 74. Children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are most susceptible to illness from pathogenic bacteria.
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania state department of health emphasized that the 2 latest confirmed cases occurred within the established illness onset range, suggesting that the outbreak ended weeks ago. Regardless, more cases may continue to surface as health laboratories match illnesses to the outbreak.
The sale of raw milk is legal in Pennsylvania. Last week, the CDC released a study showing that states that permit raw milk sales have more than twice as many illness outbreaks as states where raw milk is not sold.
[Byline: James Andrews]
[In the March 2012 issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases (Langer AJ, Ayers T, Grass J, et al: Nonpasteurized dairy products, disease outbreaks, and state laws - United States, 1993-2006. Emerg Infect Dis 2012;18: 385-91 http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/18/3/11-1370_article.htm), the authors report on 121 foodborne outbreaks (with 4413 cases of reported illness) caused by contaminated dairy products, and 73 (60 percent) were involved with unpasteurized dairy products. 65 (54 percent) involved cheese, 42 percent made from unpasteurized milk, and 56 involved fluid milk, 82 percent involved unpasteurized milk. In these outbreaks, _Campylobacter_ was responsible for 54 percent of the outbreaks, following by _Salmonella_ spp. (22 percent), Enterohemorrhaigc _E. coli_ (13 percent), _Brucella_ spp. (4 percent), _Listeria_ (4 percent) and _Shigella_ spp. (3 percent).
Clearly, pasteurized milk can also transmit disease, and 48 outbreaks were reported. The source of contamination was reported in only 7 (14 percent), of which at least 4 resulted from post-pasteurization contamination by an infected food handler.
The reader is directed to the article for additional information and discussion. - Mod.LL
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