January 3, 2008: Source of Listeria Contamination Found in Milk Product

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has found the same genetic fingerprint in a sample of coffee-flavored milk manufactured by Whittier Farms of Sutton...

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in a bottle of milk taken from the refrigerator of one of the food poisoning victims, and in blood taken from all four individuals who became ill with listeriosis.

“The pattern is very unique,” said Dr. Alfred DeMaria, Massachusetts’ director of communicable disease control. “It means there's an outbreak here. There's no question there's an outbreak. And it implies that the dairy is the common source.”

According to experts, the discovery of identical genetic profiles of Listeria found to have sickened several individuals is extremely rare. But it does point to the dairy as the source of the listeriosis outbreak.

Listeria contamination of Whittier Farms milk apparently has resulted in the death of two elderly men and has sickened two others. The four cases had been reported to the state health department beginning in June.

According to the health department, a 75-year-old man died in June, and a 78-year-old man died in October. In November, an 87-year-old man contracted listeriosis, and a 34-year-old, pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage resulting from ingestion of milk contaminated with Listeria.

It is not known how the milk became contaminated, but the state continues to investigate, focusing especially on the packaging process, according to the health department.

To learn more about this Listeria food poisoning outbreak, please see “Listeria Contaminated Milk Causes Two Deaths.”

For more information about Listeria and listeriosis, please About Listeria and Listeria Symptoms and Complications.

The Law Firm of Eric Weinberg represents victims of food poisoning outbreaks throughout the country. If you believe that you are the victim of listeriosis, please contact us at our toll free number 1-877-934-6274, or click on Free Case Evaluation. To learn more about our law firm please see Food Poisoning Lawyer.

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