New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today warned consumers in Sullivan County and the surrounding area not to consume unpasteurized raw farm milk from the Richard Dirie Farm due to possible Listeria contamination. The Dirie Farm is located at 1345 Shandelee Road, Livingston Manor, New York, 12758.
A sample of the milk, collected by an inspector from the department’s Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on April 7, 2015 was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
On April 9, 2015, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result. He volunteered to suspend raw milk sales until the sample results were confirmed. Further laboratory testing, completed on April 15, 2015, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample.
This is the second time in seven months that the state Department of Agriculture and Markets found the bacteria in the farm’s raw milk. It was also found in October, said owner Richard Dirie. But he says they were able to correct the problem – an issue with the water valve controlling the water’s temperature – fairly quickly.
Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, cancer patients, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. People who are otherwise healthy may suffer only short-term, flu-like symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria.