The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink or consume raw (unpasteurized) cream labeled as "ORGANIC PASTURES Grade A RAW CREAM" in one-pint plastic bottles coded "SEP 14" through "SEP 21."
This product, marketed by Organic Pastures Dairy Company ("Organic Pastures"), Fresno, Calif., may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause a serious and sometimes fatal disease called Listeriosis in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeriosis can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
The product was sold in retail stores throughout California and was also available worldwide via phone orders, and is not pasteurized. Pasteurization, a process that heats milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time, kills bacteria responsible for diseases such as listeriosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and brucellosisis. The California Department of Food and Agriculture issued an order to Organic Pastures on September 7 to withdraw the raw cream from retail distribution after routine product sampling at the facility detected the bacteria. As of September 20, 2007, the California Department of Agriculture has now permitted Organic Pastures to sell and distribute raw cream within the state of California.
FDA advises consumers to throw away product labeled as "ORGANIC PASTURES Grade A RAW CREAM" with code dates "SEP 14" through "SEP 21".
Individuals who have consumed Organic Pastures raw cream and who have experienced any of the symptoms described above should contact a doctor or other health care provider immediately.
No illnesses have been reported to date.
Consumers with questions may contact Mark McAfee, Chief Executive Officer/Founder of Organic Pastures, at 1-877-RAW-MILK (1-877-729-6455).