SAN DIEGO — Nine people in San Diego County have fallen ill to Salmonella bacteria linked to unpasteurized or “raw” milk or milk products from a producer in Fresno, California, local health officials said.
The nine cases, which started in late September, range in age from 1 to 41 years old, the County of San Diego stated on its website Friday. Three of the cases resulted in child hospitalizations.
Anyone who may have recently purchased Raw Farm LLC raw milk or milk products is urged to not consume the product and discard it, the county advises. All of the cases reported consuming the aforementioned products prior to becoming sick.
“The County recommends that people who have products from this company in their homes dispose of them immediately,” said Dr. Seema Shah, medical director of the County’s Epidemiology & Immunization Services Branch. “It’s also important for anyone sick to seek medical care. People who are ill, and those that live with them, should wash their hands frequently to avoid contaminating surfaces and foods that could spread the disease.”
Salmonella bacteria is commonly found in human and animal intestines, causing symptoms like bloody or watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea, vomiting and headache approximately six hours to six days after consuming contaminated foods, according to the county.
Raw or “natural” milk can produce harmful germs like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and other bacteria, viruses and parasites, as it has not gone through the pasteurization process that heats the milk to a high temperature for a short period of time, officials said.
The county warns adults 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years of age and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk for severe illness.