Unpasteurized Milk Recalled Due to Possible Coxiella Burnetii Outbreak
Missoula County Health Officials are issuing a warning for unpasteurized, raw milks sold at farmers markets due to possible Coxiella burnetii concerns.
Coxiella burnetii is a bacteria commonly found in birth products like amniotic fluid, the placenta, urine, feces, and the milk of infected animals. It can be ingested by breathing in dust from these products. The infection that is caused by this bacteria is called Q fever. It can also be spread through blood transfusion, like from a pregnant mother to her fetus, and sex.
Now, two cows have tested positive for the bacteria Coxiella burnetii and health officials are concerned because their milk has been sold at a farmers market. The farmers are not sure if the cows were infected with the bacteria when they were milked, so they are not sure if anyone was exposed to the infection. Nobody has reported being sick yet, but it usually takes about three weeks for Coxiella burnetii symptoms to appear after consuming the infected product. It remains unclear how wide-spread the milk was distributed or what is was used for.
Missoula County, located in the state of Montana, is not immune from outbreaks, having had an outbreak of salmonella in the recent past. Their unpasteurized milk was also the culprit in that outbreak. Following an investigation, inspectors found that no health code laws had been broken, but rather that unpasteurized milk is simply just a dangerous product to produce and sell.
For this reason alone, many states prohibit selling unpasteurized milk, and many more have strict regulations/limits on its sale and use.
Unpasteurized Milk Commonly Linked to Outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and other Pathogens
Unpasteurized milk has been linked to several food poisoning outbreaks. Such as E.coli, campylobacter, brucella, listeria, and cryptosporidium. It can carry many harmful bacteria and germs that are very contagious.
According to the CDC, symptoms of Coxiella burnetii include: fever, chills, sweats, fatigue, headaches and/or muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest and/or stomach pain, weight loss, and non productive coughing. These symptoms vary in intenseness. Some with very severe symptoms might develop lung infections like pneumonia, or liver infects like hepatitis.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing these symptoms, or have recently been exposed to any infected products listed above, contact your health provider immediately.
National Food poisoning Lawyer, Tony Coveny, Ph.D., says that producers handling foods that are commonly linked to food poisoning outbreaks must use the utmost caution when preparing and packaging their food. He also strongly recommends they test each batch of every product that is susceptible to being a conduit for food poisoning. He also points that this is why there are so many laws in place stating that you cannot sell milk unpasteurized, or that limit the opportunities to do so.