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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Words not Usually Associated with Food Safety

My insomnia got the better of me this morning.  So, as I cruised the Internet for tidbits on food poisoning I found a few interesting morsels.  Lately I have been obsessing about how the safety of raw milk has become so tied up with anti-big Ag, save the family farm and the un-verified health benefits. I found an article about Schlittler Farm (hmm, odd name for a raw milk seller) on the pages of farmers-friend.com:

Currently the only documented producers of raw milk in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Schlittlers are tapping into a continually growing anti-pasteurization subculture. Some raw milk enthusiasts drink it because they believe it’s healthier than processed milk, capable of improving one’s immune and digestive systems. Some can’t get enough of the taste, which tends to be sweeter and creamier than pasteurized. Others see it as a benefit to small farms and the environment.

With this mindset comes some risk, as raw milk has the potential to carry harmful bacteria that pasteurization destroys, including E. coli, listeria and salmonella. (Proponents of raw milk claim pasteurization also kill beneficial bacteria, proteins and enzymes.) Under state law, farms like the Schlittlers’ must submit themselves to quarterly inspections by the Department of Agriculture, and, on an annual basis, have their milk tested for four pathogens (salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, Listeria and campylobacter) and their cows checked for tuberculosis and brucellosis.

In addition, the Schlittlers pay a laboratory to test their milk for bacteria twice a month. They’re also required to keep a sign posted in their barn that advises customers on the possible perils of drinking raw milk, stressing pregnant women, children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are the most susceptible.

Finishing up the article on how to save the Schlittler family farm by selling raw milk (beside changing the name), I then stumbled upon another odd name tied to a food product, “Company recalls yellow croaker products” due to possible botulism contamination. Ok, how many of you knew that a croaker was not something that happened AFTER you ate something with possible botulism contamination? Seriously though:

Seoul Shik Poom Inc. of Hillside, is recalling the products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium that can cause life-threatening illness or death.  The yellow croaker products were distributed in New Jersey, New York and Maryland through retail stores. This product comes in a clear plastic bag and is individually tied.

BG1103 Salted Yellow Croaker (bag) 2.2 lbs
BG1121B Dried Yellow Croaker (bag) 4.5 lbs
BG1121 Dried Yellow Croaker (bag) 2.2 lbs
BG1122B Dried Yellow Croaker (bag) 4.5 lbs
BG1124 Yellow Croaker (bulk box) 29.73 lbs
BG1124A Yellow Croaker (bulk box) 31.6 lbs
BG1123 Yellow Croaker (bulk box) 30.83 lbs

  • Paul Nunes

    Small family farms are under extreme pressure to find ways to turn a profit. Multi-generational farm are finding that today”s generation is moving away from farming- the work is too hard; the money too small. These hard economics have turned many Upstate NY farms to look to raising veal calves, even though the business is upseting to younger family members. I imagine the whole raw milk phenomenom is driven both by economics and a desire to avoid ethically challenged farming practices , like veal farming. At least, one can rationalize, the animal is not being hurt.