At least three, and as many as eight new cases of campylobacteriosis in North Carolina have been linked to raw milk from Tucker Adkins Dairy of York, S.C., according to the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA is warning consumers not to drink raw milk from that dairy.
Retail raw milk is legal in South Carolina, but not in North Carolina, and interstate sale of raw milk has been illegal since 1987, according to the FDA.
Proponents of raw milk say it has beneficial nutrients and enzymes that are killed in the pasteurization process, but federal health officials warn that unpasteurized milk may contain pathogens including Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, Tuberculosis, Listeria, Diphtheria and Brucella. While most healthy people will recover quickly from most infections caused by drinking tainted raw milk, some will succumb to serious illness, and could even die; the very old and young, pregnant women and those with suppressed immune systems are most at risk.
In the decade ending in 2008, there were 28 outbreaks of human illness that the FDA tied to raw milk consumption. More than 1,600 people were sickened, 187 were hospitalized and two died; as with all food-borne illness outbreaks, the number of reported cases is likely to be lower than the actual number of illnesses. The illnesses in the Tucker Adkins Dairy case occurred in mid-June.
For more information, contact the FDA at 1-800-SAFEFOOD.
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