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January 27, 2008: Whittier Farms Listeriosis Update

Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) released their findings following an investigation of the Whittier Farms Listeria monocytogenes outbreak.

After testing more than 100 environmental and milk samples from the Whittier Farms plant, the MDPH reported the following:

  • A total of twelve milk samples and four environmental samples tested positive for Listeria contamination.  This included both outbreak and non-outbreak Listeria strains. (Outbreak strain indicates the same strain of Listeria linked to food poisoning cases involving Whittier Farms’ products.) 
  • The Listeria outbreak strain was found in eight unopened milk containers.  This included one sample of skim milk and seven flavored milk samples (coffee, chocolate, strawberry and vanilla).
  • The Listeria outbreak strain was detected in an environmental sample taken from the floor near a production plant homogenizer.
  • Two strains of Listeria not related to the outbreak were also detected in four samples of milk.
  • Three strains of Listeria not related to the outbreak were detected in three environmental samples which included: fill room drain, empty unwashed bottle, and bottle washer washband.

These findings suggest that Listeria was able to survive in an environmental area(s) of the processing plant, and that the milk products became contaminated with Listeria at some point during the production process.

To date, a total of five cases of listeriosis (Listeria food poisoning) have been linked to Whittier Farms outbreak, including three elderly men and two pregnant women. The three elderly men have died.

To learn more about this Listeria food poisoning outbreak and listeriosis, please see Listeria Contaminated Milk Causes Two Deaths and Source of Listeria Contamination Found in Milk Product.

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 Listeria Lawyer.

To learn more about Listeria and Listeriosis, please see our new blog

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