New York health officials issued a warning this week about the potential dangers of consuming raw (unpasteurized) milk and other dairy products after resident was recently diagnosed with a Brucella RB51 infection.

Image/Devanath via pixabay
Image/Devanath via pixabay

New York State Department of Health’s Wadsworth Center Laboratory, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed the infection. The individual is being treated and is doing well. This is the third individual infected with RB51 due to raw milk consumption confirmed in the United States in the last two years. The other two individuals, who were both diagnosed in 2017, resided in Texas and New Jersey.

The investigation identified raw milk or other dairy products from Miller’s Biodiversity Farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania as the likely source of the infection. Individuals who consumed raw dairy products from the farm should immediately discard the products and contact their healthcare provider to discuss preventive treatment.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, “Raw milk products can contain harmful bacteria which can pose serious health risks. Pasteurization standards are in place to protect the public from diseases which are transmitted in raw milk and dairy products. It is critical for New Yorkers to understand the dangers of these products and avoid their consumption.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) issued an order of quarantine to halt the sale of dairy products made from raw cow’s milk from the farm while an investigation is conducted. Pasteurized dairy products from Miller’s Biodiversity Farm have been deemed safe.

This quarantine only applies to this farm. Pasteurized milk sold elsewhere in Pennsylvania is not quarantined.