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Discard raw milk produced by The Family Cow

Published On: Aug 05 2013 04:54:18 PM EDT

Anyone who purchased raw milk produced by The Family Cow in Chambersburg is being advised to discard it because of potential bacterial contamination.

The warning was issued Monday by the state's Departments of Agriculture and Health.

The Family Cow, owned and operated by Edwin Shank, sells directly to consumers in an on-farm retail store and at drop-off locations and retail stores around the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, as well as in south-central Pennsylvania.


Agriculture officials have ordered the farm's owner to stop the sale of all raw milk until further notice.

The packaged raw milk is sold under The Family Cow label in plastic gallon, half gallon, quart and pint containers. It is labeled as “raw milk.” Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.

Agriculture and Health Department laboratory tests and recent illnesses indicate the raw milk may contain Campylobacter bacteria.

After the Department of Agriculture received a consumer complaint, it collected samples of raw milk during an investigation of The Family Cow on July 29. Positive test results for Campylobacter were confirmed on Monday.

Additionally, the Department of Health confirmed two cases of Campylobacter infection in people who consumed raw milk from the farm at 3854 Olde Scotland Road, Chambersburg.

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

Onset of the illness usually occurs two to five days after ingesting the bacteria. Patients may not require specific medical treatment unless they become severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the gastrointestinal tract.

For more about Campylobacter, visit  the health department's website or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.