Consumers advised to discard raw milk purchased from Franklin County farm

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The Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health today advised consumers to discard raw milk produced by The Family Cow in Chambersburg, Franklin County, because of potential bacterial contamination.

Agriculture and Health Department laboratory tests and several recent illnesses indicate the raw milk may contain Campylobacter bacteria.

The Department of Health has confirmed five cases of confirmed Campylobacter infection in people who consumed milk from the farm at 3854 Olde Scotland Road.

Based on the reported illnesses, the Department of Agriculture collected samples of raw milk during an investigation of The Family Cow, on May 17. Positive tests for Campylobacter were confirmed Tuesday.

The packaged raw milk is sold under The Family Cow label in plastic gallon, half-gallon, quart and pint containers. It is labeled as “raw milk.” Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.

The Family Cow, owned and operated by Edwin Shank, sells directly to consumers in an on-farm retail store and at drop off locations and retail stores around Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley, as well as south-central Pennsylvania.

Agriculture officials ordered the owners of the farm to stop the sale of all raw milk until further notice.

Campylobacter bacteria affect the intestinal tract and sometimes the bloodstream and other organs. It is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis, which can include diarrhea and vomiting. Nearly 1,300 confirmed cases of Campylobacter are reported each year in Pennsylvania.

Onset of the illness usually occurs two to five days after ingesting the bacteria. Patients may not require specific medical treatment unless they become severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the gastrointestinal tract.

For more information about Campylobacter, visit or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

1 Comment

  • hswife

    Quoting the dairy: "As far as we know, the number of cases has not grown past the original five. Most of those were in the first week of May and in talking to those families, many of them were not at all sure that it was the milk. But the health department did report and count them because they do drink our milk. Please understand that I am not at all attempting to minimize or trivialize any who were ill. It is just that considering there are an estimated 3500 people per month drinking milk from The Family Cow, if there were serious food safety issues, the illnesses count would be much higher. Also something we thank God for: the illnesses have been relatively mild."

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