30/01: The Family Cow Voluntarily Suspends Raw Milk Sales
None of the partner owners or their families or the staff, who all claim to drink the milk regularly, have become sick. Also, there have been reports from different parts of the US of similar illness outbreaks that have no connection to our local dairy or raw milk in general.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 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 ingesting the bacteria. Patients often do not require specific medical treatment unless they become severely dehydrated or the infection spreads from the intestines.
As of January 27th, the department confirmed three cases of Campylobacter infection in persons in Pennsylvania and three confirmed cases in Maryland. A commonality between these cases is the consumption of raw milk from this farm. A formal recall has not yet been announced, probably because there has been no positive contamination found in the dairy's milk samples.
On January 27, The Family Cow sent out an e-mail to all of it's customers stating they had received several calls from customer/families reporting that they had been experiencing acute diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. In response to this news, they were suspending milk sales and had sent samples to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for testing. As of that date, the first preliminary test was negative for the contaminant.
On January 30, they again sent out an e-mail with the updated information that the last test results were not back yet but that sales would continue to be suspended. They also report to have received hundreds of encouraging e-mails from their customers in response to the January 27th e-mail notice.
We will be keeping an eye on this situation and keep you up to date on the confirmed facts as they are released by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and The Family Cow.