Raw milk warning sounded

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Public health officials in Illinois are warning about possible dangers from contaminated raw milk distributed from an Indiana dairy.

An outbreak of bacterial illness in southern Michigan has been linked with drinking raw milk from the same Middlebury, Ind., dairy. A farm cooperative in Michigan received milk from that dairy and delivered it to locations in Chicago, Des Plaines, Downers Grove and Elgin.

The culprit is Campylobacter bacteria. It can cause digestive symptoms including diarrhea and abdominal pain. And it's been confirmed in 11 of 18 cases reported in Michigan.

Hong Kong firm looks to N.Z.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- A Hong Kong-based investment group says it wants to invest up to $1.1 billion in New Zealand's dairy industry to make high-quality infant formula and long-life milk products for the Chinese market.

The move comes two years after China's 2008 tainted milk scandal that left six children dead and more than 300,000 sickened when dairy suppliers added the industrial chemical melamine to milk to boost its apparent protein content. More than 20 dairy companies were closed by authorities and two men were executed for their part in the scam.

Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings Ltd., formerly China Jin Hui Mining Corp. Ltd., has already struck a deal to buy four New Zealand farms and is negotiating with Crafar Farms, which is in receivership, for 24 others, said Kerry Knight, a lawyer acting for Natural Dairy.

Natural Dairy has raised $105 million in initial capital, and said its total investment in New Zealand could reach $1.1 billion for "farms, livestock and milk powder production plants."

Creamery buys new facilities

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A company that manufactures natural and processed cheeses and whey proteins has purchased a production facility in Humboldt, Tenn., that will create 89 jobs over the next three years.

Bongards Creameries bought a 114,000-square-foot facility that was previously owned by ACH food companies and used to produce loaf and shredded imitation cheeses. Bongards expects to have the capacity to produce natural and processed shredded cheeses by mid-summer. Loaf processed cheese production is scheduled to begin by the end of the third quarter.

The purchase price was not disclosed.

The 102-year-old company has plants in both Bongards, Minn., and Perham, Minn.

N.M. dairy starts pollution probe

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) -- The DeGroot Dairy near Roswell has submitted to state officials a plan for investigating the extent of soil and groundwater pollution at a site where contamination has been confirmed.

The state Environment Department required the dairy to submit the plan to address pollution associated with its operation.

Wastewater from the dairy is discharged to two evaporative lagoons and then applied to crop land.

The state says groundwater in the shallow aquifer is monitored regularly through wells at the site and is contaminated with nitrate, chloride and total dissolved solids at levels exceeding state groundwater quality standards.

The dairy plans to install 11 soil boring and two monitoring wells. Once the investigation is complete, the dairy must submit a plan for cleaning up any contamination.

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