In a recent finding from Utah public health officials, there have been 45 different cases of Campylobacter infections, which is caused by ingesting raw or unpasteurized milk, Food Safety News reported. The reports came from Weber County, Utah, and people reported drinking raw milk before getting sick between the dates of May 9 and July 21.
The Utah Department of Agriculture is investigating the issue, but currently suspended the dairy farm associated with the raw milk when the company tested positive for Campylobacter in August.
"Inspectors have repeatedly visited the dairy, reviewing safety procedures, working with the owner to determine the source of the problem and helping devise corrective actions," Larry Lewis, a spokesman for the Department of Agriculture and Food in Utah, was quoted as saying.
Pasteurization a delicate process
The milk and dairy pasteurization process uses heat treatment to make sure the product contains the correct amount of growth of micro-organisms. According to Tetra Pak, with the longer delivery times for milk and other dairy products in the U.S., they have additional time to develop more microorganisms, which can lead to the person consuming the product not feeling so well.
Sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers are used to make sure dairy products reach the correct temperature in the pasteurization process. However, with inefficient equipment, the heat levels can get too high and affect taste, appearance and the nutritional value of the dairy product, the source reported.
Heat treatment is one of the most critical parts of the cheese-making process and a few degrees or seconds under the required heat level can damage or not pasteurize the product enough. According to Food Safety News, a problem for those consuming the dairy product is that raw milk with disease-creating bacteria growth usually does not have a different taste, smell or appearance than uncontaminated products.
The need for thermal treatments
Thermal treatment is essential in food processing settings, and when it comes to cheese-making or any other dairy pasteurization processes, the right heat exchangers are needed. Thermal treatments help food processors steer clear of alterations to the product through non-pathogenic microorganisms, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported.
To keep dairy processing and other milk pasteurization operations at their most efficient and effective level, processors need shell and tube heat exchangers to create the best product for their customers.