Contaminated milk that can lead to a potentially fatal infection or can cause flu-like symptoms, miscarriages or stillbirths was produced and sold in the Hudson Valley.

On Tuesday, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball warned consumers in Orange County and the surrounding area not to consume unpasteurized raw milk from Pennings Farm in Warwick due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

A recent sample of the milk collected by an inspector was discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, officials say. On Jan. 15, the farm was told about the preliminary positive test result.

Another test, on Tuesday, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

The producer is now prohibited from selling raw milk until subsequent sampling indicates that the product is free of harmful bacteria. To date, no illnesses have been reported.

The department recommends anyone who purchased raw milk from Pennings Farm immediately dispose of it and call them at (845)742-2011.

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, officials say.

According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, healthy people may suffer short-term, flu-like symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women.

Officials note 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.

We've reached out to the farm for comment and have yet to hear back.


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