The Pennsylvania Department of Health is advising people who purchased raw milk from The
Family Cow in Chambersburg, Franklin County, that recent illnesses indicate the milk may contain harmful bacteria.
According to a Food Safety News report released Friday, the agency has confirmed 51 cases of Campylobacter in Pennsylvania, three cases of Campylobacter infection in Pennsylvania, four in Maryland, three in West Virginia, and two in New Jersey. All those affected drank milk from this farm.
Campylobacter is a bacterial infection that affects the intestinal tract and can affect the bloodstream and other organs. Nearly 1,300 confirmed cases are reported each year across the state.
A formal recall has not been announced but the agency recommends anyone who purchased the milk after Jan. 1 should discard it.
The Department of Agriculture is waiting for test results from the raw milk samples and the farm voluntarily suspended raw milk production but resumed production after passing a state health inspection. According to Food Safety News, a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture spokesperson said the dairy passed its health inspection on Monday after its unpasteurized milk tested negative for pathogens over a 24-hour period.
The Family Cow sells directly in an on-farm retail store and at locations around Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley, and south-central Pennsylvania.
The shelf life of raw milk is typically 10 days but it can be longer if it is frozen or used to make other products. Freezing will not necessarily kill the bacteria.