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Pride & Joy Dairy Refuses to Recall Raw Milk after Salmonella found (US/Washington) Canadian Salmonella Outbreak Traced to Frozen, Raw Chicken (Canada/Nationwide)

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Press Release | Fri September 29, 2017, 09:54 AM EST


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Owners of a raw milk dairy in Washington say they have “politely declined” the state’s request that they recall their unpasteurized milk, which showed Salmonella contamination during routine testing by agriculture officials.

Claiming they are being targeted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the owners of Pride & Joy Puget Sound LLC posted a notice on the dairy’s Facebook page today after being notified on the positive Salmonella lab report from the state.

Public health officials are concerned that consumers may have unused portions of the implicated unpasteurized milk in their homes because the recalled product has a best-by date of Oct. 4.

A health alert posted today advises the public to not consume Pride & Joy raw milk because of the danger of Salmonella infection. All sizes of containers are subject to the alert. The dairy, in Toppenish, distributed the implicated unpasteurized milk via numerous retailers, drop-off locations and its farm store (see list below).

Children younger than 5, elderly people, pregnant women and people with suppressed immune systems — such as cancer patients — are at a higher risk of contracting serious infections from Salmonella exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of this afternoon, the state officials did not have any confirmed reports of illnesses linked to the dairy. However, earlier this year Washington officials investigated two Salmonella illnesses reported by people who consumed raw milk from Pride & Joy.

That investigation did not yield any positive results for Salmonella, but the dairy’s raw milk tested positive for E. coli bacteria, which generally causes more serious infections than Salmonella.

In February the owners of Pride & Joy — Allen Voortman, Cheryl Voortman, Ricky Umipig and Cindy Umipig — voluntarily recalled raw milk and shut down operations to clean and make other changes suggested by the state to reduce the chance of contamination.

Not it
In February, the dairy owners challenged the state’s lab results, saying the E. coli contamination could have occurred at any point in the supply chain after the unpasteurized products left the dairy’s control. Retailers, consumers and officials in the chain of evidence were all cited by the dairy owners as possible sources of the contamination.

In their Facebook post today they took a similar stand.

“We have been targeted again. In a routine sample taken from our farm on Sept. 18, the WSDA (Washington State Department of Agriculture) is claiming they found Salmonella. In an unprecedented event, we have politely declined the ‘voluntary recall,’ ” according to the Facebook post.

“Since we have declined the recall, the WSDA admitted on a recorded phone conference yesterday with our attorneys present, that no one is sick, they can not (sic) shut us down and will not even be retesting our milk since we declined the recall. We will resume business as usual.”

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Reason for Recall: Salmonella
Company: federal officials have not revealed what specific products or brands are implicated.
Product: Breaded Chicken Products

Details:  Call toll-free: 1-866-225-0709 | Email: info@hc-sc.gc.ca

Of the 13 victims identified as of Thursday, four of them had symptoms so severe that they had to be hospitalized. Their illness onset dates range from June 18 through Aug. 13. Their ages range from less than 1 to 82 years old.

Additional victims are likely to be identified because it can take several weeks from the time a person becomes ill to when their illness is reported and testing confirms a link to the outbreak, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which posted its initial outbreak alert Thursday.

The health agency did not identify the implicated food by brand or manufacturer. It described the suspected source of the Salmonella Enteritidis as “frozen raw breaded chicken products.”

“Salmonella is commonly found in raw chicken and frozen raw breaded chicken products,” according to the outbreak alert. “While frozen raw breaded chicken products may appear to be pre-cooked or browned, they contain raw chicken and should be handled and prepared no differently from other raw poultry products.

“Frozen raw breaded chicken products must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 74 degrees C (165 degrees F) to ensure they are safe to eat.”

Regions: Canada/Nationwide

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© Food Safety News

 

Second outbreak in Canada this year traced raw, frozen, breaded chicken
Although Thursday’s public health alert states there has not be a recall in relation to the ongoing outbreak, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency posted a recall July 12 for President’s Choice brand “Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets” from Loblaw Companies Ltd. because of possible Salmonella contamination. The recall notice reported there had been illnesses associated with the product. But those 13 victims became ill from April through June.

“This recall was triggered by findings by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) during its investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products,” according to the July 12 recall notice.

The public Health Agency of Canada posted a final outbreak report Aug. 25 on the outbreak traced to the President’s Choice brand Pub Recipe Chicken Nuggets. The product has a best-before date of March 15, 2018. A sample of the product collected from a retailer tested positive for Salmonella Enteritidis and had the same genetic fingerprint as the cases of human illness reported in the outbreak earlier this year.

Advice to consumers
Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but infants, children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of serious illness because their immune systems are more fragile, according to the Canadian health agency.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and not get sick or show any symptoms, but still be able to spread the infection to others.

Anyone who has eaten any raw, frozen, breaded chicken products and developed symptoms of  Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the bacteria.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria, but in some people it takes two weeks for symptoms to develop. Symptoms include fever, chills, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms usually last for four to seven days.

Preparation precautions
The public health agency recommends the following precautions when handling and preparing raw or partially cooked frozen breaded chicken products:

  • Do not eat raw or undercooked frozen breaded chicken products. Cook all frozen breaded products to an internal temperature of at least 74 degrees C (165 degrees F) to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Microwave cooking of frozen raw breaded poultry products including chicken nuggets, strips or burgers is not recommended due to uneven heating.
  • Always follow package cooking instructions, including products labelled Uncooked, Cook and Serve, Ready to Cook, and Oven Ready.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling frozen raw breaded chicken products.
  • Use a separate plate, cutting board and utensils when handling frozen raw breaded chicken products to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.
  • Use a digital food thermometer to verify that frozen raw breaded chicken products have reached at least 74 degrees C (165 degrees F). Insert the digital food thermometer through the side of the product, all the way to the middle. Oven-safe meat thermometers that are designed for testing whole poultry and roasts during cooking are not suitable for testing nuggets, strips or burgers.

© Food Safety News

 

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Press Release | Fri September 29, 2017, 09:54 AM EST


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