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J Infect Dis. 2000 May;181(5):1834-7. Epub 2000 May 15.

An outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitica O:8 infections associated with pasteurized milk.

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Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


In October 1995, an outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitica O:8 infections occurred in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire. Ten patients were identified, median age 9 years (range, 6 months-44 years). Three patients were hospitalized; 1 underwent an appendectomy. Consumption of bottled pasteurized milk from a local dairy was associated with illness (matched odds ratio undefined; lower 95% confidence interval, 1.9). No deficiencies in pasteurization procedures or equipment were detected. Y. enterocolitica O:8 was isolated from 1 raw-milk sample and from a fecal sample from 1 dairy pig. The route of contamination was not determined; this outbreak likely resulted from postpasteurization contamination of milk. Dairy pigs were the most likely source of contamination. Milk bottles were likely contaminated by rinsing with untreated well water prior to filling or by other environmental routes. Educating dairy owners about Y. enterocolitica and postpasteurization contamination is necessary to prevent further outbreaks.

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