Last Friday, June 29th we received a call from the CDFA regarding a “positive” on a random test done on a sample of our chocolate milk. It was due to an improper pasteurization. We are meticulous regarding our procedure we realized we had an immediate problem. We retraced our steps and due to a hose holding a bit of milk from our transfer from making regular to chocolate. This small amount did not get pasteurized upsetting the whole batch.
There is silver lining to this, first off, YOUR FOOD SAFETY. I, of course wish it wasn’t on my test :). You though, as a consumer should know that your food is tested constantly and I know I am grateful for that. Secondly, as we were only in our trial period and we were able to fix this problem before it actually hit the stores and a larger reach. Third, NO ILLNESSES occurred.
My immediate fear was for my customers. Not only for their well being, but also their trust in Dairy Goddess and our products.
I did not sleep thinking about what will happen next. What is going to happen in dealing with the state and what will my customers think. How will they react?
My sleeplessness replayed over and over again watching the demise of my business. Why is it always that it always feels worse in the middle of the night???
Monday came and our first test was good yet I knew that it was going to be made public. Announced for the nation to see, fear of the unknown. What’s going to happen next?
We work as usual. Confident that our issue was resolved. We make or cheese, our milk and our chocolate milk. On Tuesday we took our final sample in to test. Mind you, this is the day before the 4th of July holiday. My hats off to the CDFA staff and Sierra Dairy Labs for helping us to get this cleared and a verbal OK so that we can sell on Thursday as scheduled with out missing a beat.
The news hit! Friends rallied around. I received words of encouragement. People said “hang in there”, “you’ll be OK”. My favorite, “you’ve got lemons make lemonade”. On Facebook were posts like “we can’t wait to get more of that chocolate milk”.
I was OK…
On the 4th of July my phone rings. A major distributor is interested in my products. They want to meet. (I did disclose that I just had got off recall the day before. He chuckled and said that “it happens, good to work out the quirks”).
What a difference a day makes! I prayed a word of thanks to God. (See the Hanford Sentinel’s story)
It hits me, I am still in business. I need more space to grow. I need refrigeration at my plant. I need a refrigeration van to transport. Business is good but it is capital that I need. I know that it nearly impossible as the dairy industry is still struggling to get back on track.
I got an idea…a fundraiser, HELP DAIRY GODDESS SOAR Crazy I know, but there is so much I need. I need milk crates. I need more bottles, labels, supplies, space etc, etc, etc.
So I put myself out there…reaching out. I have already received such generous response. I am a blessed women. If you would like to help check out my “GoFundMe” button. I know these times are difficult for so many people. The main thing I ask is for your prayers. God hears our prayers.
“Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer” – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. These are the words that comfort me. I hope they comfort you too!