GHENT, N.Y. (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is warning consumers of raw milk contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

According to Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball, unpasteurized raw milk from Hawthorne Valley Associations, Inc. should not be consumed due to the possibility of Listeria contamination.

Commissioner Ball confirmed that a sample of the milk collected by an inspector on May 5 was contaminated with the bacteria. Further laboratory testing, completed on May 12, 2022, confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw milk sample.

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. Listeriosis can cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. It can also cause short-term, flu-like symptoms, such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea in healthy people.

Raw milk is not pasteurized. This means that these affected products have not been heated to specific temperatures to kill harmful bacteria such as Listeria.

Hawthorne Valley Association is now banned from selling raw milk until future sampling indicates that the product is Listeria-free. This farm is located at 327 Route 21C in Ghent, New York.

The Department recommends that any consumers who purchased raw milk from Hawthorne Valley Association, Inc. immediately dispose of it and call the farm at 518-672-4465.