Just when many people thought, oh, how great, we have natural dairy products that won’t have any chemicals, hormones, etc.–we can eat these safely! Unfortunately there is no such thing in the real world as absolute safety when it comes to food. Food gets contaminated by germs in a variety of ways. The state is ordering a recall of two cheeses from Green Cedar Dairy, in Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties, due to the listeria bacteria found in them. This particular bacteria–often lethal, especially in the elderly, very young and immune-impaired–can be found in soil, therefore often on unwashed produce, as well as in sewage and unpasteurized milk. Its symptoms include diarrhea, fever, muscle aches and in some cases may result in meningitis. It may, especially at this time of year, be mistakenly misdiagnosed as flu.
The recent discovery of listeria in two types of cheese, All Natural Ackawi and All Natural Chives, from Green Cedar Dairy in Dearborn, are not by any means an indictment of natural dairy products in general. Despite previous controversial legal decisions concerning unpasteurized milk being sold to the public, there is no evidence that every dairy product labeled “natural” is contaminated. Luckily so far only two incidents of illness locally have been reported.
There is also a lot of reason to be validly concerned with dairy foods that are pasteurized, and which contain hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals that weren’t meant to be in the cow in the first place. While there is much more urgency, indeed, when foods are contaminated with bacteria due to their more immediate results, long-term use of milk products laced with growth hormones and other chemicals should not be overlooked. They have been connected with increases in breast cancer and other health problems. Yet many legislators have cried foul over natural milk being sold, declaring it will poison us all. How long before women are told not to nurse their babies without pasteurizing their own milk first?
If you have either of the above cheeses, please return them to the place where you bought them for a refund. The best-before date on the packages is July 1, 2012. Should you experience any of the previously-described symptoms, do not hesitate to go to an ER.
For more details on listeria, see the CDC link below: