June 21, 2024

Pennsylvania Family Cow Raw Milk Outbreak One of Nation’s Largest

The Campylobacter outbreak linked to raw milk produced by the Family Cow dairy in Chambersburg, Pa. is one of the five largest raw milk outbreaks in the nation since 1998, according to Food Poisoning Bulletin’s research of data reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state health departments.

Raw milkAs of February 28, 2012, 80 people in four states had been sickened by the tainted milk. The case patients range in age from 2 to 74 years old, 31 percent of them are under 18, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Pennsylvania was hit the hardest by the outbreak, with 70 total cases. Five people in Maryland were sickened, in West Virginia, three and there are two cases in New Jersey, one of whom is a 3-year-old boy from Gloucester County. At least nine people have been hospitalized.

Campylobacter is one of the most common causes of raw milk outbreaks but it’s not the only one. Over the last 14 years, raw milk outbreaks have been caused by a variety of pathogens including E.coli, Salmonella, Brucella and Listeria.

Only four other raw milk outbreaks have sickened more people than the Family Cow outbreak in Pennsylvania. They are:

March 2009 A Campylobacter raw milk outbreak sickened 81 in Colorado.

March 2006 A Salmonella raw cheese outbreak sickened 85  in Illinois.

April 2002  A Campylobacter raw milk outbreak sickened 86 in Kansas.

November 2001 An E.coli raw milk outbreak sickened 202 in North Carolina.


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