They just keep coming. Today is the announcement by Oregon health officials of 23 Salmonella infections linked to dairy products from the Umpqua Dairy in Oregon. Two of those ill have been hospitalized, according to this report. The illnesses were traced to product from the company’s production plant in Roseburg Oregon.
Officials said the illnesses occurred in Lane, Douglas, Linn County, Coos Marion, Jackson, Josephine, Deschutes and Klamath counties. The report states that:
The dairy has suspended operation of its Roseburg plant and is working with the state health and agriculture departments to thoroughly disinfect the plant and equipment and review its processing procedures.
While the cases were traced to milk, the dairy is recalling all products from the same production line, including: half-and-half, cream, buttermilk and Umpqua-brand one-gallon orange juice and fruit drinks. Recalled products have the plant code 41-62 stamped on them. Other products, including ice cream, sour cream and cottage cheese, are not being recalled.
Oregon health official Paul Cieslak was quoted discussing the surprising nature of the recall given that the milk is pasteurized.
“This was a puzzler,” Cieslak said. “Pasteurized milk is a very safe product and therefore a very improbable cause of a food-borne illness.” He said it appears Umpqua products were being properly pasteurized. That has led investigators to suspect the contamination came after pasteurization, probably in the packaging process.
Perhaps tomorrow we can go a whole day without a new Salmonella outbreak.