In the US, state officials shut down operations at a dairy and issued a public warning in June after raw goat’s milk samples collected by inspectors returned positive results for Listeria contamination.

According to an article in Food Safety News, “A sample of the milk was discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, The producer is now prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of harmful bacteria.”

“The incident in the US is a timely reminder for all dairy producers of the risk of listeria contamination and the need to remain vigilant in managing processing, personnel and hygiene controls,” said Dairysafe CEO Geoff Raven.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand advises, “Listeria are bacteria that can cause a serious illness called listeriosis in some people. While Listeria infection is uncommon and causes few or no symptoms in healthy people, it can be very dangerous for those people at risk. Listeriosis is usually caused by eating food contaminated by certain types of Listeria bacteria. The Listeria bacteria are found widely in nature. Storing contaminated foods, even in the refrigerator, may allow the Listeria bacteria to grow. The bacteria may be present in raw foods or may contaminate food after it has been cooked or processed.”

“Food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may not look or smell spoiled but can still cause serious and sometimes life-threatening infections. Anyone who has eaten any of the raw milk and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical treatment and tell their doctors about the possible Listeria exposure,” the Food Safety News article said.

“Also, anyone who has consumed any of the unpasteurised milk should monitor themselves for symptoms during the coming weeks because it can take up to 70 days after exposure to Listeria for symptoms of listeriosis to develop.”

Symptoms of Listeria infection can include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches, severe headache and neck stiffness. Specific laboratory tests are required to diagnose Listeria infections, which can mimic other illnesses. 

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