New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today warned consumers in Orange County and the surrounding area not to consume “unpasteurized” raw farm milk from the Robert & Stacey Stap Farm due to possible Listeria contamination. The Stap Farm is located at 426 Drexel Dr., Pine Bush, NY 12566.

A sample of the milk, collected by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on April 28, 2014, was subsequently tested by the Department’s Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On May 1, 2014, the producer was notified of a preliminary positive test result. Further laboratory testing, completed on May 5, 2014, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail, or 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, Listeria can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

It is important to note that raw milk does not provide the protection of pasteurization, which eliminates all pathogenic bacteria, including Listeria.

To date, no illnesses are known by the department to be associated with this product.