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Health Department Says Don’t Drink Raw Milk; Ag Department Says “Yes You Can!”

It is always interesting to tune into the state-by-state Raw Milk saga.   Take Pennsylvania for example.

Pennsylvania farms can sell Raw Milk, which means it is not pasteurized, under a system of permits and testing.   During the past week, we watched as on Feb. 20, the state Health Department put a public notice out that Raw Milk from Dean Farms in Lawrence County, PA should NOT be consumed because of possible contamination from campylobacter.  

Here some of what the state said:

State Health Secretary Everette James today advised consumers who purchased raw milk from Dean Farms in New Castle, Lawrence County, doing business as Pasture Maid Creamery, LLC, to immediately discard the raw milk due to potential bacterial contamination. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.

Dean Farms sells directly to consumers who provide their own bottles. The business is not related to Dean’s Dairy in Sharpsville, Mercer County, which produces pasteurized milk for supermarkets.

Recently, individuals who consumed raw milk purchased from Dean Farms were found to have gastrointestinal illness due to Campylobacter, a bacterial infection. Since January 23, a total of six confirmed cases of Campylobacter infection have been reported among raw milk drinkers in four unrelated households in western Pennsylvania. The investigation is ongoing.

Dean Farms in New CastleLawrence County, has tested negative for Campylobacter contamination and resumed sales of raw milk on Feb. 26, Agriculture Secretary 
Dennis Wolff
 said today. 

While Dean Farms "tested negative," however, the number of confirmed cases of Campylobacter increased to a total of 9 in four unrelated households.  We see no new word about that on the Health Department’s website.   Just the PR Wire from Secretary Wolff saying everything is okay, move along.

Our question for those of you in PA–Do you feel like this system is working for you?

  • I drink Dean’s milk.
    The 4 households were sicken elsewhere – not by Dean’s milk.
    I happen know one of the public health nurses involved in this “incident”.
    What’s more I’m also aware of the bogus PA Department of Health so called “testing” and the raw milk PDA’s agenda.
    I’m living for the day that PDA is dissolved & Dennis Wolfe is unemployed.
    PDA & the USDA is a complete waste of tax dollars.
    Over regulation has made our food less safe not more safe.

  • Homer

    Well, no, not really. I won’t do nothin lessen the govment says its safe for me and this jus confusin me. The govment says its safe to kill millions in Iraq or drop bombs on weddings in Afghanistan. Thats enough for me to know they value life and are jus lookin out for my inerests. If they give me a contradictory message and my television isn’t workin, I’m plum lost, paralyzed with indecision.
    I dont buy that argument that says the raw milk scare is about makin small farmers dependent on the conglomerate mega-dairies. I dont believe all that pasteurization equipment is prohibitively expensive for the family farm. Jus put it on the ole credit card, that’s what I say. Its the American way. Pasteurization is all about safety. Regulations are all about safety.
    My ancestors for thousands of years drunk pasteurized milk. If pasteurization is good for them its good for me too.
    Thank you mister bacteria lawyer. Battlin for truth and just us, you are, and we folk out here thank you for your altruism.

  • Atom Egoyan

    Wow, the wingnuts are out in force. It’s like walking down the main street of any university town in the midwest. Always someone up on a soap box preaching their religion. Or the people at town hall meetings, venting their frustration at exactly the wrong people.
    Pasteurization? We’re talking 160F for a few seconds. The inside of my car is hotter than that on a July day in Yakima.