Rochester-based dairy recalls raw milk due to possible health risk 


Sigmon Dairy, based in Rochester, is voluntarily recalling retail raw whole milk displaying “best by” dates March 4 through March 12 because it might be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) that can cause listeriosis, a serious illness, according to a news release from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

“Listeriosis may cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms,” according to the news release. “This infection may spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems.” 

Anyone experiencing such symptoms should immediately contact a health care provider, the release states. 

At this time, there are no known illnesses associated with the recalled product. People in higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell their health care provider about eating the contaminated food, according to the release. 

The recall was initiated after routine sampling conducted by the Washington state Department of Agriculture (WSDA) revealed the presence of toxin-producing L. mono in retail raw milk dated March 4. The recalled product was bottled in half-gallon and gallon containers and was sold via retail stores in Rochester and Chehalis as well as on-farm sales. Sigmon Dairy and WSDA continue to work jointly to address the source of the problem, according to the release.  

Consumers who have purchased Sigmon Dairy retail raw whole milk with “besy by” dates from March 4 through March 12 are urged not to drink the product and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. 

Consumers with questions can contact the company at 360-529-7356 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

“Retail raw milk is legal to sell and buy in Washington state, but the potential health risks are serious,” WSDA stated in the release. “Consumers should read the warning label on the retail raw milk  container carefully and ask their retailer to verify the milk was produced and processed by a WSDA-licensed operation.”