Utah Salmonella Outbreak News – The Utah Department of Health (UDH) reports that Utah public health officials are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul food poisoning cases that may be linked to drinking raw or unpasteurized milk. Illness onset dates range from March 20, 2016 to August 14, 2016. The outbreak victims range in age from 15 to 78 years, and two of those sickened required hospitalization.
Utah Salmonella Outbreak Investigation
According to the UDH press release, all of those sickened in the outbreak drank raw milk purchased at Heber Valley Milk in Wasatch County. A sample of raw milk collected at the Heber Valley Milk dairy by a Utah Department of Agriculture and Food inspector tested positive for the presence of Salmonella Saintpaul on August 23, 2016. Since recent testing did not detect Salmonella the dairy has been allowed to resume sales reports the UDH.
Salmonella is a type of pathogenic bacteria that can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and headache. The UDH cautions the public that symptoms of Salmonella infection (salmonellosis) can appear from 12 hours to one week after exposure to the bacteria. Illness can last for up to a week or more. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to suffer the serious effects of Salmonella infection. Dr. Allyn Nakashima, Utah State Epidemiologist stated in the press release “In some cases Salmonella bacteria can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites. These infections are very serious and should be treated with appropriate antibiotics. If you develop severe vomiting or diarrhea after drinking raw milk, you should consult your health care provider.”
How Safe Is Raw Milk?
Raw milk has not undergone pasteurization, a process that that kills pathogenic bacteria including Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. As a result, raw milk and raw milk products (soft cheese, ice cream, and yogurt) can pose serious health risks, including death.
The sniff test will not protect you from foodborne illnesses – Consumers should be aware that contaminated raw milk does not smell or look any different from uncontaminated raw milk. The UDH provides the following steps to reduce the risk of food poisoning for those who choose to drink raw milk:
- Only buy raw milk from stores or dairies permitted by law to sell it. However, a government permit does not guarantee that raw milk will be free from disease-causing bacteria.
- Keep raw milk and raw milk products refrigerated at or below 40°F.
- Transport milk from the store to home in a cooler with ice packs.
- Do not let raw milk sit out at room temperature.
Contact The Weinberg Law Firm For Salmonella Lawsuit Help
If you have been sickened in a food poisoning outbreak, and you have a question concerning your legal rights, please contact the Weinberg Law Firm for a free legal case evaluation at 877-934-6274.