The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets today warned consumers in Tioga County and the surrounding area not to consume unpasteurized raw goat milk from Side Hill Acres due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Side Hill Acres is located at 79 Spencer Road, Candor, NY 13743. To date, the Department has not received any reports of illnesses associated with this product.
A sample of the milk, collected by an inspector from the Department, was discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On May 31, 2019, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result. Further laboratory testing, completed on June 4, 2019, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample. The producer is now prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of harmful bacteria.
The Department recommends that any consumers who purchased raw goat milk from Side Hill Acres immediately dispose of it and call them at (607) 659-4121.
Listeria monocytogenes causes listeriosis, which can be a serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, cancer patients, elderly people and others with weakened immune systems. Although otherwise healthy persons may suffer only short-term, flu-like symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, listeriosis can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.
It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization. Pasteurization is a process that heats milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time. Pasteurization kills the bacteria responsible for numerous illnesses and diseases such as listeriosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and brucellosis. Pasteurization of milk is recognized internationally as an effective means of preventing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, including listeriosis.