Pride and Joy gives up raw milk license

State says milk had salmonella

— Pride and Joy Dairy which processes its milk in Toppenish, has given up its raw milk processing license, according to state Department o Agriculture spokesman Hector Castro.

The dairy can renew its license by satisfying the department that it has found and cleaned up the source of salmonella.

Dairy owners Allen and Cheryl Voortman signed an agreement Nov. 6 laying out what they must do.

The organic dairy can still sell milk to other processors for pasteurization, an Agriculture spokesman said.

The agency suspended the dairy’s license Oct. 6 after health officials linked raw milk from Pride and Joy to two people hospitalized in January with salmonella poisoning. If Pride and Joy had not surrendered its license, the dairy faced having it revoked.

Pride and Joy agreed it must submit a plan for agency approval for investigating the cause of pathogens in its bottled milk and for correcting problems, officials said.

The two people who were sickened reported in January that they drank Pride and Joy milk, but follow-up tests did not detect salmonella, the department said.

The connection was made when milk samples collected in October tested positive for the same strain that sickened the two people, officials said.

The state Department of Health made the determination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested further and made the same determination.

Salmonella has been a problem for the Voortmans more than once this year. They shut down operations early in the year.

One of the challenges has been that independent testing didn’t give the same results as the agency.

The department tests samples from raw milk dairies monthly.

The last item on the agreement states: Pride and Joy will submit a written plan of action to the Department . . . before the Department will approve a complete application for a milk processing plant license at 56721 U.S. Highway 97.

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