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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Umpqua Dairy recalls pasteurized milk and juice due to 23 Salmonella Braenderup cases

UmpquaDairy.jpgOregon Public Health officials have recalled Umpqua Dairy brand Milk, half and half, cream and buttermilk as well as Umpqua Dairy brand gallon orange juice and fruit drinks. Umpqua Dairy Products Co., are sold in Oregon, southwest Washington and northern California.

All Umpqua Dairy products are pasteurized.  Recent testing at the Roseburg Dairy, however, identified Salmonella on several different surfaces. The recall comes after 23 people, all in Oregon, have been laboratory-confirmed with matching DNA patterns of Salmonella Braenderup. Two people have been hospitalized.

“This outbreak has unfolded slowly and it was just recently that we were able to confirm the matching Salmonella strain in the Umpqua milk plant. We want to tell consumers that if they have any Umpqua milk at home, they should discard it or ask for a refund from the store where it was purchased. The risk to consumers is very low. We have had approximately one illness reported for every million containers that Umpqua has sold during this period,” said Paul Cieslak, M.D., Oregon Public Health Division.

Umpqua also sells under the labels: Cascade, Great Value, Lady Lee, Market of Choice and Sherm’s. The company also supplies milk to Dairy Queens in Oregon and Washington. Those products that should be discarded or returned have a plant code 41-62 stamped on them. The recall affects milk, purchased on or prior to Monday, Aug. 16, 2010 or earlier or with an expiration date of Sept. 5, 2010 or earlier; buttermilk with an expiration date of Sept. 10, 2010, or earlier; orange juice and fruit drink with an expiration date of Sept. 15 or earlier.

  • Bill Anderson

    So we see here that pasteurization is no guarantee of safety.
    Yet, the authorities continue their war against producers of raw milk, even those who have not made anyone sick.
    I guess we can conclude that even though pasteurization is no guarentee of food safety, it is a guarantee that corporations will maintain control of our food supply.

  • Phil

    On the 0ne-gallon milk there is no plant number (at least on two one gallons I have). Is it supposed to have a plant number on them?

  • Sam

    Gee, it is SO sad that no body can offer a 100% guarantee that everything will be 100% safe, 100% of the time.
    It is also a terrible shame when people twist logic to suit their agenda. Raw milk is available to those who accept the risk. If anyone wants to raise a cow, and consume it’s milk, there is no regulation against that.
    The fact is, if you sell a food product that makes someone sick, you will be held liable. Those of us in the food industry know that the “head in the sand” approach demontrated by the raw food fanatics is a sure path to bankruptcy.
    Perhaps someone can explain to me, and all the small organic farmers, and all the vendors at all the farmers markets, why pasteurization is “a guarantee that corporations will maintain control of our food supply”.

  • Jim

    Mr. Andersen,

    Might I suggest you read the entire article before you start spewing rhetoric? The milk was already pasteurized when it was placed in contaminated containers.

    And why did you even bring up raw milk, this has nothing to do with it. For example some of the Juices that Umqua packages and sells are also being recalled because of the risk of contamination. In other words it isn’t a milk issue, it’s a packaging/plant issue.

  • Bill Anderson

    I would agree with you Jim. This is a case of post-pasteurization contamination of the milk.
    So what does this have to do with raw milk? Because I haven’t heard anything about regulators showing up with guns drawn (no joke) into the processing plant responsible for this outbreak. Yet we have seen innumerable cases this year alone, of armed regulators raiding farms and suppliers of raw milk who have made no one sick.
    Why do they not show with guns drawn on the operators of this dairy plant which is clearly making people sick? Could it be because food safety is the excuse which they use to enforce the iron fist of the corporate monopoly on milk production?
    It is very clear to me that the shill tone of the regulatory and “food safety” community about the dangers of raw milk has nothing to do with food safety. I accept that raw milk can be risky if it is not produced with the proper precautions and practices. I am a licensed Wisconsin cheese maker (the only state in the U.S. which requires the licensing of cheese makers) with formal training in HACCP, SSOP, producing safe dairy foods, and pasteurization process control. I should also mention that the cheese maker who trained me has been drinking raw milk for over 50 years from dozens of different farms, and has never gotten sick from it.
    I maintain that the regulatory and “food safety” community are NOT interested in making milk any safer — raw or pasteurized. Rather, you have shown time and again that fear, paranoia, and violent repression are the tactics of those who are against raw milk, while pasteurized milk which makes people sick is basically given a free pass in comparison.
    And why, must I wonder, is there so little research and so little discussed on this blog about the long-term chronic health effects of consuming the standard American diet of highly processed foods — foods which also happen to be highly profitable for our corporate masters, and very easy to regulate for the government?
    This whole thing stinks to high heaven.
    Again, I must ask, why did the regulators not show up with guns drawn to shut down and put out of business the operators of this dairy plant? I’m not suggesting that they do this, I’m simply asking why the double standard?

  • Jim

    Mr Anderson—
    Since you have “formal training” in HACCP what would you consider the critical control points to be for the bottling of raw milk?

  • Brenda Freddi

    Lucky me. I vacationed in Winston and Roseburg, OR over August 18th through the 21st. I bought and ingested milk and juice and ice cream with Umpqua labels. I ate Lucerne eggs also. Now I am pretty sure I have the salmonella bacteria. I have all of the symptoms except vomiting. I didn’t know there was a recall or a risk on any of these products until last night. i am in poor health and this is very scary. I am not foolish, but I thought our food was safe. Back to gardening, if I get over this!

  • Bill Anderson

    HACCP is designed for industrialized food processing, so it is difficult to adapt the HACCP framework to on-farm raw milk production. Some changes need to be made, to produce a more wholistic food safety program.
    The first thing to understand is that most bacteria are good, and protect your product from the few bad ones. As a cheesemaker, I am particularily attuned to this fact — cheese starter cultures have a powerful selective effect against pathogenic organisms. The more bio-diverse your starter culture (and your secondary ripening cultures), the less chance a pathogenic contaminant will have to proliferate.
    Encouraging a positve bacterial pressure is very important. Chlorine use should be minimized, as chlorine encourages the conditions for organisms like listeria and pseudomonas. Chlorine should never come into contact with milk or with the milking area.
    In any case, a farm’s food safety plan has to be tailored to that farm’s particular needs and size. Animal health, labratory milk quality testing, and possibly even manure and/or enviromental swabbing to identify hazards are all steps that can be taken to produce safe raw milk.
    But I would emphasize that the most important thing is to have the animals on pasture. Confinement-style dairying simply cannot produce safe raw milk, no matter how clean and sanitary the milking enviroment is, or how well you clean udders. Alta Dena is the classic example of this.

  • Susan

    I have an underlying autoimmune disease (S.Lupus) and have ingested Umpqua products and have been sick for over a week and am getting other symptoms now (joint pain, fever, headaches, urinary pain). I need to see a doctor NOW but don’t have health insurance. Shouldn’t the company pay for an exam and treatment? I’m scared that I’m getting worse.