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

Food Safety Alert

June 04, 2009

Jessica A. Chittenden

Listeria Contamination in Raw Milk in Hoosick Falls

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today warned consumers in the Hoosick Falls, New York area not to consume “unpasteurized” raw farm milk from Breese Hollow Dairy due to possible Listeria contamination.

Breese Hollow Dairy, located at 454 Breese Hollow Road, Hoosick Falls, New York 12090 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.

A routine sample of the milk, taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on May 26, 2009, was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.  On May 29, 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 June 3, 2009 and the producer is prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of pathogens.

Listeria contaminated product could cause Listeriosis, a disease that usually causes mild flu-like symptoms in healthy individuals; however in immune-compromised individuals, meningitis and blood poisoning can occur.  Pregnant women are also considered a high-risk group, as Listeriosis can also result in stillbirths.

It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria.  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 Breese Hollow Dairy.


2009 Consumer Alerts