Raw Milk Sold in Pennsylvania From Family Cow Farm Causes 35 to Become Ill

Dangers of Raw MilkDrinking raw milk from the Family Cow Farm in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania caused 35 people to get campylobacter bacterial infection. The raw milk from Shankstead EcoFarm was sold at The Family Cow store in Scotland. The Family Cow Farm has already begun to stop production of raw milk, voluntarily.

The cases of campylobacter bacterial infection include 28 people in Pennsylvania, four in Maryland, two in West Virginia, and one in New Jersey. The counties in Pennsylvania that have the illness from raw milk include Franklin, Cumberland, Adams, York, and Lancaster.

Heath officials are warning consumers to throw away any raw milk purchased from the Family Cow Farm on or after January 1, 2012. On the Farm’s website, they say to “Discard any of our raw milk with a “best buy” date in January. Even If you made butter or cheese from our milk during that time, discard it too. Keep track of what you discard. Let us know how much you had to dispose of and we’ll give you a full refund. If you bought at a store, return the milk to them. They will refund you and we will refund them.”

This isn’t the first case of raw milk causing illness, nor will it be the last, unless the government bans production. Raw milk sales are already illegal in Maryland. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 1998 more than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk.

Consuming bad raw milk can cause symptoms like, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain, flulike symptoms such as fever, headache, and body ache. Most people can get well after consuming the bacteria from raw milk, but if you develop these symptoms, see a doctor. These raw milk symptoms can be dangerous and life-threatening to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

So what is raw milk?  Raw milk is milk usually from cows, goats, sheep and in some countries camel or buffalo.  The milk is not heated above the animals highest body temperature which is around 101 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  It hasn’t been altered with chemicals in any way.  Normally, pasteurization is heating the milk to at least 103 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 seconds until the milk begins to boil and vaporize.

7 Comments on "Raw Milk Sold in Pennsylvania From Family Cow Farm Causes 35 to Become Ill"

  1. Please correct the error in describing pasteurization. Heating milk to a temperature of 103°Fahrenheit would just enable spoilage bacteria to flourish. Heating it to a temperature of 103°Celsius would unnecessarily change the taste and probably coagulate some proteins. The temperature milk is heated to can range from about 160°F to 183°F. The higher temperatures are used when the milk is flash heated for a very short time which best preserves the flavor. This is called high temperature short time processing, or HTST, and requires sophisticated pumps and heat exchangers. When lower temperatures are used, the milk must be held at that temperature for a longer time. This type of pasteurization can be done in the home kitchen.

    By the way, when my husband was in his 30’s he was hospitalized for several days with a campylobacter infection which he probably acquired from the drinking water containers at a local golf club. Even if you are not elderly or pregnant, campylobacter can have severe effects.

  2. The temperature you quoted on pasteurization is quite incorrect. You need to heat to 161 for 15 seconds to pasteurize.

  3. I hear over 20 people died in cars accidents over the weekend…Let’s ban cars…

    • We should tell people to eat their meat and eggs raw because it is more natural and better for them. Oh, and why we are at it, let’s get rid of refrigerators and stoves altogether, because clearly “Big-Ag” and the government are out to get us and take away all of our freedoms!!!

    • lol, ban cars!? Horrible analogy because banning cars would potentially cause millions of deaths. How would I get to work to make money to pay for food? How would I get to a hospital if I had a life threatening accident!? I could agree to banning cars if there were an alternate form of transportation that caused 0 deaths and had all the flexibility of a modern car. Kinda like how pasteurized milk has all attributes of raw milk but with out the harm/deaths. Raw milk does nothing for you that pasteurized milk won’t do. People drink it because they are falling victim to the nonsense that anything processed in anyway makes it unnatural and thus bad for you. News flash, everything comes from nature, including arsenic (which is very bad for you). Drinking milk after your a baby seems pretty unnatural to me. It’s only because of a gene mutation, not too long ago in history, in cultures that raised cattle that you are even able to drink milk. Not everyone even has this mutation. They are called lactose intolerant. It makes no sense. Its like making cars without seat belts even though we know seat belts save lives. Its irresponsible to sell a product that could harm or even kill people when all it takes is heating up that product for 10 seconds to kill harmful bacteria.

    • 800 illnesses since 1998??!! That’s not bad. The numbers of people sick and dying from processed foods and meats is much higher.

    • To Aaron, lactose intolerant individuals are typically able to drink raw milk without a problem. Raw milk contains the enzyme lactase, which as you might guess helps digest lactose. This is only one difference, raw milk also contains probiotics, which are hugely important for digestive health. Not to mention, if your selling raw organic grass fed milk you are talking about a healthy cow that is free eat what cows are ment to eat. Pasteurized milk is from feedlot cows, typically sick cows that are routinely given antibiotics. When a cow eats corn and grain to increase production the fat content of the end product milk is much higher in omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. Grass fed cows are the opposite, their milk has low omega-6 and high omega-3 fatty acids which is anti inflammatory. So no, raw milk and pasteurized milk are not the same, not even close. Well unless you mean it’s white, then yes your correct. While i don’t drink a lot of milk myself, I do think its an excellent calorie source for growing kids, and when its raw its as much of a complete food as eggs are. I give it to my kids everyday. I would be more concerned to give them pasteurized milk. 800 people have had “diarrhea” since 1996 as a result of raw milk… gasp! More people die every single month from acceptable use of ibuprofen. If you want to drink garbage pasteurized milk be my guest, but don’t tell me what’s “irresponsible”.

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