Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner

Food Safety Alert

April 16, 2009

Jessica A. Chittenden

Salmonella Contamination in Raw Milk

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers to not consume “unpasteurized” raw farm milk from the Laing farm at 772 County Route 35, Potsdam, New York because it could possibly be contaminated with Salmonella.

A routine sample of the milk, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on April 6, 2009, was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Salmonella.  On April 10, 2009, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed.  Test results were confirmed on April 15, 2009 and the producer is prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of pathogens. 

The Laing farm holds a Department permit to legally sell raw milk at the farm.  Samples are taken monthly and tested by the Department to determine if the raw milk is free of pathogenic bacteria.

Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.  Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea which may be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.  In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.

It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella.  Producers who sell raw milk to consumers must have a permit to do so from the Department, must sell directly to consumers on the farm where the milk is produced and must post a notice at the point of sale indicating that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization.  Farms with permits to sell raw milk are inspected by the Department monthly.

To date, no illnesses are known by the Department to be associated with product from the Laing farm.


2009 Consumer Alerts