Raw milk is risky

I have friends who grew up on the farm their entire lives and insist on drinking raw milk as they feel that pasteurization completing devoid the milk of nutrients. I can preach about the dangers of consuming raw milk supported with scientific facts but that’s not going to change their minds. They’re adults, they can make their own choices; just don’t impose your choice on a child. When I was younger I was courting a girl who lived on a dairy farm in rural Manitoba (Canada). She insisted on drinking raw milk and offered some to me. I was aware that raw milk was risky but this way before my food safety days. So like many boys courting women, you sometimes make foolish mistakes and so I drank the milk. Puked it up. Not because of microbial reasons, just tasted horrible, maybe it was that batch, not sure.

Kristi Rosa reports
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued an official health advisory regarding a rifampin/penicillin-resistant strain of RB51 Brucella that has been linked with the consumption of raw milk; this follows a alert issued by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) that was issued back in mid-August.

The DSHS defines raw milk as “milk from cows or other animals that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria.” Raw milk can be contaminated with several different bacteria, including Listeria, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Campylobacter—all bacteria that are known to be responsible for countless disease outbreaks.

The individual who contracted brucellosis is a Texas resident who was exhibiting fever, muscle and joint pain, as well as fatigue. The DSHS reports that blood culture revealed the bacteria responsible for these symptoms was, in fact, Brucella. Further investigation tracked the infection back to a potential source: a licensed raw milk dairy based in Paradise, Texas, called K-Bar Dairy.

The CDC stresses that any individuals who have consumed raw milk from this dairy between June 1, 2017 and August 7, 2017 should “receive appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).” These individuals are thus at increased risk for infection and should contact their healthcare providers to inquire about PEP and undergo potential diagnostic testing.

K-Bar Dairy has fully cooperated with the CDC’s investigation and has contacted customers and advised them to dispose of any milk that may be contaminated. However, the dairy does not have a record of all customers, therefore, the DSHS alerted the public about the recall on August 14, 2017.

The rest of the story can be found here.

Elk or Bison to blame for Montana’s loss of “Brucellosis free status”

On September 3rd, 2008, Montana lost its brucellosis-free status due to two cases of infected cattle.  It was a big blow since last February the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared all 50 states to be free of brucellosis — the first time that had happened in 74 years.
Montana’s livestock producers will now be required to test bulls and nonspayed females, 18 months of age or older, 30 days before interstate shipment.

Ranchers in Montana and surrounding states are taking action to prevent any further spread of brucellosis.  A brucellosis plan of action has been proposed by the Montana Department of Livestock, which includes surveillance, vaccination, traceability/animal identification, fencing/pasture management, and other measures to help the state regain its brucellosis free status. If no additional cases of brucellosis in livestock are found, the state will be able to apply for Class Free status to USDA APHIS in late May of 2009. Also, Montana needs to prove to USDA that no additional cases of brucellosis in cattle exist in the state.

is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria of the genus Brucella.  
It is a devastating illness for herds as it causes cattle to spontaneously abort if pregnant.  Humans become infected by coming in contact with animals or animal products that are contaminated with these bacteria.  To prevent infection, herdsman should use rubber gloves when handling viscera of animal; all consumers should not have unpasteurized milk, cheese or ice cream.

Who’s to blame for the source of the brucellosis disease?  Livestock officials point to wild elk and bison in the area, though there has been much discussion as to whether these are the true culprits. A four-foot high, seven-mile long electric fence has been erected near Gardiner to steer bison that migrate out of Yellowstone National Park to acceptable grazing land. In terms of sheer numbers, the Yellowstone region’s 25 elk herds dwarf the three herds of bison. And unlike bison, which move in groups, elk move freely over the region’s numerous mountain ranges, often alone or in small numbers. Livestock officials say infected elk herds around Yellowstone must be culled, but hunters are pushed back saying that efforts should focus on vaccinating cattle or eradicating the disease in bison.

There is also the probability that neither of these species are the ones responsible for the infected cattle. The fact that both the 2007 and the current brucellosis detections have occurred in Corriente cattle, a breed closely associated with brucellosis, has many questioning whether cattle, and not Yellowstone wildlife, are responsible for the transmissions resulting in Montana losing its brucellosis free status.

Government authorities continue to work with local officials toward regaining its status as a state free from brucellosis.