Dairy Recalls Milk After 8 Children at 2 Schools Fall Ill

Published: March 30, 2007

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn., March 29 (AP) — Investigators say they believe that a dairy company employee’s failure to flush cleaning solution from at least one machine contaminated a batch of chocolate milk, sickening eight Connecticut children and forcing a recall in four states.

Officials at the dairy, Guida’s Milk and Ice Cream, expanded a voluntary recall to include all its chocolate milk with an April 13 expiration date, the state’s agriculture commissioner, F. Philip Prelli, said on Thursday. On Wednesday, the company recalled chocolate milk it identified as Product No. 138 after eight children became ill in Old Saybrook.

Mr. Prelli said the recall was expanded to include a second Guida machine that makes chocolate milk.

Guida released a statement on Thursday saying the contamination was “an isolated incident caused by human error.” The company said the milk, which was shipped to Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Massachusetts, might contain some food-grade sanitizer.

The recall involves half pints of one-half-percent low-fat chocolate milk. Mr. Prelli said the half-pint size was distributed primarily to schools, cafeterias and other food-service facilities that buy in bulk.

Agriculture officials believed operator error was to blame for the problem at the New Britain plant where Guida produces milk, said Linda Piotrowicz, a marketing representative at the state agency.

Seven students at Goodwin Elementary School and one at Old Saybrook Middle School had symptoms that included nausea, stomachaches, headaches, dizziness and throat discomfort after drinking the milk on Wednesday. All were treated by medical workers and sent home.

Consumers with questions about the recall can call Guida’s Dairy at (860) 224-2404 or (800) 832-8929, Extension 550.