State officials said they are investigating four cases of people in York County who have become sick from consuming raw milk products.

The four are believed to have been sickened by human cryptosporidiosis from raw milk produced by Roux’s Farm in Shapleigh, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

The cases were reported to the Maine CDC beginning on Oct. 4, officials said, and the four said they had consumed raw milk from the Shapleigh farm, which is state-inspected and licensed. Anyone who has raw milk products from Roux’s Farm dated before Oct. 18 should discard those products, and the farm voluntarily recalled products it produced before that date, the agencies said.

State tests indicate that the farm cleared regulatory and quality specifications as of Oct. 18.

Cryptosporidia are parasites that live in the guts of mammals, especially ruminants such as cattle, and can be found in raw milk produced by those cattle, state officials said. Pasteurization kills disease-causing germs such as cryptosporidia, but raw milk is not pasteurized.

Symptoms of cryptosporidiosis can include diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fever and weight loss. Anyone with those symptoms should contact their medical provider to be evaluated and tested. Children, older adults, pregnant women and those with weaker immune systems are considered at greater risk of developing cryptosporidiosis if they consume raw milk, although some people may have no negative health effects, the Maine CDC said.

State officials could not provide detailed information Friday on those who were sickened, beyond saying that they live in York County. It’s not known whether they were adults or children, if all developed symptoms, if they all developed the same symptoms or if they lived in the same household.

State officials said cases of illnesses related to the consumption of raw milk and raw milk products have been infrequent.

The 57 licensed retail raw milk dairies in Maine are tested four times in every six-month period for aerobic bacteria, antibiotics and coliform, cleanliness and good manufacturing practices and any raw milk for retail sale must be labeled as “not pasteurized.”


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