Michigan officials seize raw milk butter, warn public against Shetler farm products

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State officials are warning the public to not eat or drink any raw milk products from a Michigan farm because it is unlicensed and in violation of state laws.

Inspectors from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) conducting a routine check at a convenience store in Clare, MI, discovered raw milk butter being sold. They seized about 75 pounds of the butter, which the retailer then disposed of voluntarily, according to a public warning posted by the department today.

The implicated farm is operated by John Shetler in Morley, MI. He is in violation of the state’s Manufacturing Milk Law because his facility is not licensed and has not been inspected, according to the department.

It is not yet known whether Shetler has been distributing other raw milk products. Retail stores selling products from Shetler’s farm, an unlicensed, unapproved source, are subject to regulatory action under the Michigan Food Law.

The butter in question was packaged in one-pound clear plastic containers and labeled as “NON-GMO SWEET CREAM BUTTER w/Himalayan salt.”

“Our food and dairy inspectors are committed to making sure the food we feed our families is made in a safe way and is free of foodborne pathogens, but it requires a partnership with those we regulate to make that happen,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell.

“Under the Michigan Food Law, MDARD is charged with licensing and inspecting food manufacturing facilities and retail food establishments to protect public health and assure a safe and wholesome food supply. Foods offered for sale must be made in licensed and inspected facilities, which this farm was not.”

Any retailers who have any raw milk products from Shetler’s operation should immediately remove the products from sale, hold them in a secure place away from any sales areas, and contact their MDARD food inspector, according to the state department’s alert.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria. It and products made with it can carry dangerous pathogens, such as Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, which can pose serious health risks.

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