March 22, 2018

Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak Associated with The Family Cow in PA

A Campylobacter outbreak associated with raw milk produced by The Family Cow farm in Chambersburg,  Pennsylvania has sickened at least five people, the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Health  announced today. State health officials are advising consumers who have purchased the milk to discard it.

Lab tests preformed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health have confirmed five cases of campylobacteriosis in people who drank the unpasteurized milk produced on the Franklin County farm. Samples from the farm collected by the state Department of Agriculture also tested positive for the bacteria.

The raw milk in question was packaged under The Family Cow label in plastic gallon, half- gallon, quart and pint containers and labeled as “raw milk.” It was sold at an on-farm retail store, several drop off locations and retail stores around Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley and in south-central Pennsylvania.

The Family Cow, owned and operated by Edwin Shank, has been ordered to stop the sale of raw milk until further notice. Last year, Family Cow was the source of another raw milk Campylobacter outbreak that sickened 80 people in four states, the largest raw milk outbreak in Pennsylvania’s history.

Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea and vomiting.  In rare cases, Campylobacter infections can cause Guillain-Barré (pronounced ghee-YAN bah-RAY) syndrome, which causes muscle weakness and paralysis.

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