October 31, 2014

Pennsylvania Dairies Required To Test For Pathogens Twice A Year

In Pennsylvania, where a raw milk Campylobacter outbreak has sickened at least 77 people during the last month, dairies – even those selling raw milk, are only required to test for pathogens twice a year, according to Penn State Food Safety, a blog by the Penn State College of Agricultural Services.

Pasteurization kills harmful pathogens, but raw milk is unpasteurized and can sicken consumers if tainted. Since 2006, there have been seven raw milk outbreaks involving five or more people, sickening 284 Pennsylvanians. In addition, there were nine clusters of five or fewer cases during that same period.

Most of the outbreaks have been caused by Campylobacter bacteria, with the remainder caused by Salmonella.

2007          York                          Salmonella               29 cases

2007          Cumberland            Campylobacter         7 cases

2008          Lancaster                Campylobacter        72 cases

2008          Montgomery            Campylobacter      68 cases

2009          Lawrence                 Campylobacter        9 cases

2010          Lawrence                 Campylobacter     22 cases

2012         Franklin                    Campylobacter     77 cases*

*Ongoing outbreak

Below is a chart that outlines testing requirements for Pennsylvania dairies:

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