The state Department of Health said today that Meadow Gold Dairies may resume selling 2 percent reduced-fat milk processed at its Honolulu plant after sales were suspended more than a week ago because of signs of potential contamination.
Meadow Gold, a brand of Dallas-based Dean Foods Co, received a cease-and-desist order on Feb. 27 from the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) to stop sales of the 2 percent milk in response to milk samples exceeding limits for coliform bacteria — an indicator of contamination. The DOH tests of the 2 percent milk on Jan. 19, Feb. 6 and 22 showed coliform counts of nearly 15 times the maximum allowed.
The maximum allowed coliform limit for pasteurized milk is 10 coliforms per milliliter.
DOH said today that tests conducted on March 1, 2 and 6 found the 2 percent milk in compliance with coliform counts of less than 1 coliform per milliliter.
Reace Smith, spokeswoman for Meadow Gold owner Dean Foods, said Meadow Gold fixed an equipment problem that led to the earlier results.
Smith said the milk was never recalled or pulled from the market.
“We were able to continue supplying our neighbors with additional milk from our plants on the Big Island and the mainland,” she said in an email.