Texas health officials are working with K-Bar Dairy in Paradise, Texas to recall raw, or unpasteurized, milk due to laboratory evidence that it contains the harmful bacteria, Brucella. A person who drank milk from the Wise County raw milk dairy has been hospitalized for an infection of a strain of Brucella bacteria. The patient’s only known exposure is through the raw milk, and milk samples taken at that dairy have also tested positive for Brucella.
The Texas Department of State Health Services is investigating additional illnesses that may be connected to this product and advising people who consumed milk from this dairy since June 1 to consult with their health care provider.
The dairy, which is cooperating fully with the investigation, is contacting customers and telling them to discard any milk they have on hand. Because the dairy does not have record of all customers, DSHS is alerting the public about the recall. The department has also issued a health alert asking health care providers to be aware of possible Brucella infections in patients, ask about the consumption of raw milk if considering a Brucella diagnosis, and order appropriate diagnostic testing.
Brucella can cause a range of symptoms including fever, sweats, headache, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite and fatigue. Symptoms can persist for a long time or may come and go repeatedly. Less common symptoms include inflammation of the heart, swelling of the liver and spleen, neurologic symptoms, and in pregnant women, miscarriage. Pregnant women, very young children, older adults and people with suppressed immune systems are at an increased risk of serious illness due to Brucella.
Raw milk is milk from cows or other animals that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. This raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Brucella, Listeria, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.