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Lawrence County Raw Milk Dairy Tests Negative For Campylobacter; Raw Milk Sales Resumed
Date:2/26/2009

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dean Farms in New Castle, Lawrence County, has tested negative for Campylobacter contamination and resumed sales of raw milk on Feb. 26, Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Pennsylvania farms selling raw milk must be permitted and have samples of their milk laboratory tested due to the health risks associated with consuming the unpasteurized products.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Department of Health reported individuals who consumed raw milk purchased from the dairy were found to have gastrointestinal illness due to Campylobacter, a bacterial infection. Since January 23, nine confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection have been reported among raw milk drinkers in four unrelated households in western Pennsylvania. The department's investigation is ongoing.

Multiple samples from the farm have tested negative in subsequent testing.

"Ensuring the public's safety is the top priority for the department," said Wolff. "The owner of the farm agreed to stop selling raw milk while we tested the milk at the farm. Multiple samples have tested negative, so the farm can resume sales of raw milk."

Dean Farms in New Castle is completely unrelated to Dean's Dairy in Sharpsville, Mercer County, which produces pasteurized milk for supermarkets. The Dean's Dairy products were not affected.

Individuals became ill after drinking raw milk or eating other raw milk products made at home with raw milk purchased from Dean Farms of New Castle and Pasture Maid Creamery 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 two to five 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.

For more information about Campylobacter, visit the Department of Health at www.health.state.pa.us or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

CONTACT: Chris L. Ryder

(717) 787-5085


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
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