After extensive testing, Schulz Organic Farms dairy in the small Victorian town of Timboon has been cleared of listeria contamination.The boutique dairy was under investigation after a contaminated batch of milk was found earlier this month. It was the factory’s first listeria contamination scare in its seven-year history.
Cleared of Contamination
Following the listeria alert, Schulz Organic Farms recalled around 1100 units of one and two-litre full cream organic milk from store shelves. All milk produced at the factory since the scare more than two weeks ago was tested. All samples were free of listeria.
The sample originally found to contain listeria was also retested a second and third time. No evidence of the bacteria was found in subsequent testing, leading many to think the original result may have been incorrect.
Swift Action and Diligence
Believing it’s better to be safe than sorry, Schulz Organic Farms conducted more than 50 environmental and product tests in recent weeks to ensure no products were contaminated. All tests returned negative results. It also installed a new milk crate washing machine to kill any bacteria introduced by returned milk crates. Finally, the factory is undergoing a clearance program conducted by Dairy Food Safety Victoria and Food Standards Australia New Zealand to ensure its products meet accepted standards.
Schulz Organic Farms stopped supplying its products to independent grocers, delicatessens, and other retail outlets to protect the welfare of its customers. It will resume supply to its usual outlets on August 30. While the listeria scare cut sales by around 30 percent in the past fortnight, Mr Schulz is confident the measures his team have taken will help his dairy company bounce back.
Listeria often doesn’t cause problems in healthy people, but it can severely affect pregnant women, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Listeria infection may cause fevers, headaches, and aches and pains. It can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, meningitis, and septicaemia in some cases.
While the listeria scare cut sales by around 30 percent in the past fortnight, Mr Schulz is confident the measures his team have taken will help his dairy company bounce back.