Consumer Advisory: Agriculture, Health Departments Warn Consumers About Raw Milk Sold in Lawrence County

Mar 25, 2010, 15:48 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania departments of Agriculture and Health today advised consumers who purchased raw milk from Pasture Maid Creamery in New Castle, Lawrence County, to discard the product immediately because of potential bacterial contamination.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.

A Department of Agriculture lab found the Campylobacter bacteria in a recent milk sample taken from the dairy as part of a human illness investigation.  

Pasture Maid Creamery, owned and operated by Adam Dean, sells directly to consumers who sometimes provide their own bottles. The business is not related to Dean's Dairy in Sharpsville, Mercer County, which produces pasteurized milk for sale in supermarkets.

The Agriculture Department recommended that Mr. Dean stop selling raw milk for human consumption. The dairy is providing additional raw milk samples to be tested for bacterial pathogens to determine subsequent action.  

The shelf-life for raw milk is about 10 days, but can be longer if the milk is frozen.  Freezing the milk will not necessarily kill the Campylobacter bacteria.

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. Nearly 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 online at or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

Media contacts:

Justin Fleming, Department of Agriculture; 717-787-5085

Stacy Kriedeman, Department of Health; 717-787-1783

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture