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Consumers warned to discard raw milk purchased from Franklin Co. farm

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Consumers are being urged to discard raw milk produced by The Family Cow in Chambersburg, Franklin County, because of potential bacterial contamination.

State Agriculture and Health Department laboratory tests and recent illnesses indicate the raw milk sold by the farm may contain Campylobacter bacteria.

After the Department of Agriculture received a consumer complaint, it collected samples of raw milk during an investigation of The Family Cow on July 29, 2013. Positive test results for Campylobacter were confirmed today.  Additionally, the Department of Health confirmed two cases of Campylobacter infection in people who consumed raw milk from the farm at 3854 Olde Scotland Road.

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 have 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 www.health.state.pa.us or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.