December 2007

Winston Churchill once said, “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” Perhaps he was right, but at the turn of the 20th century, the process of pasteurizing milk was still in its infancy, and the safety of milk was a preeminent public health challenge. As people in the United States moved from the countryside into cities, their milk supply became increasingly unhealthy. Milk from cows in the country was transported further and stored at higher temperatures than in the past. Milk produced closer to cities came from cows kept under crowded and unsanitary conditions, and as a result, many city residents, especially children, were increasingly getting sick and dying after consuming contaminated milk. (1)

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According to press reports this morning, the pasteurization process at Whittier Farms, the central Massachusetts dairy connected to a deadly outbreak of a bacterial illness, appears to be working properly. Dr. Alfred DeMaria, the state director of communicable disease control, said that could mean the listeria bacteria that sickened four people, killing 2 adults and

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public health alert for approximately 14,800 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, that were produced by Texas American Food Service Corporation, a Fort Worth, Texas, establishment doing business as American Fresh Foods. This public