PA Agriculture Department Warns Consumers About Raw Milk Products Sold Illegally by Cumberland County Dairy


Last update: 4:52 p.m. EDT Sept. 22, 2008


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HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept 22, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Department of Agriculture is recommending that customers immediately discard heavy cream purchased from the Mark S. Nolt farm in Newville, Cumberland County, due to the risk of Campylobacter contamination, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Pennsylvania law allows farms to sell raw milk and some raw milk products, but requires they obtain permits and be inspected to reduce health risks associated with the unpasteurized products.

Heavy cream made from raw milk is not a product allowed to be sold under Pennsylvania law.

The department obtained samples of the heavy cream made from raw milk for sale at the farm during a recent investigation.

"During an investigation of the dairy, inspectors seized several products including cheese, fluid raw milk, other dairy products, and heavy cream," said Wolff. "Samples of the heavy cream sold at the farm have tested positive for Campylobacter. If consumers have purchased heavy cream made from raw milk from this farm, we advise they should discard it immediately."

The Nolt farm does not have a permit to sell raw milk or any raw-milk products.

"Without a permit and the required testing and inspection procedures in place, none of the products sold at the farm are legal," said Wolff. "There is an inherent risk in any raw food, but when produced outside of any safety oversight raw milk can be particularly dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems."

Samples were taken from the farm on Sept. 12 and tested positive for Campylobacter on Sept. 22.

No illnesses have been reported as a result of the potential contamination, but individuals who drank raw milk or ate other raw milk products purchased from the Nolt farm and became ill are advised to consult with their physician. If no illness occurred, it is not necessary to seek medical attention.

Campylobacter is a bacterial infection that affects the intestinal tract and can sometimes affect the bloodstream and other organs. It is one of the most common causes of gastroenteritis, which can include diarrhea and vomiting. Approximately 1,300 confirmed cases of Campylobacter are reported each year in Pennsylvania.

Onset of illness usually occurs in 2 to 5 days after swallowing the bacteria. Patients often do not require specific medical treatment unless they become severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines. People with severe diarrhea may require rehydration, often with intravenous fluids.


CONTACT: Chris L. Ryder

(717) 787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture



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