Pathogen detected in raw milk from Pa.

Feb. 3, 2012 at 7:44 PM
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BALTIMORE, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Maryland health officials have confirmed the presence of Campylobacter jejuni in two unopened raw milk samples purchased from a Pennsylvanian farm.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene advised consumers who purchased raw milk produced by The Family Cow dairy in Chambersburg, (Franklin County) Pa., to discard any product purchased from the farm since Jan. 1.

Campylobacter is the most common bacterial cause of diarrhea in the United States, federal health officials say, with more than 2 million cases reported each year.

There have been 23 confirmed cases of outbreak-related campylobacteriosis -- four in Maryland and 19 in Pennsylvania -- all involving people who consumed raw milk from The Family Cow Farm, Maryland health officials said.

Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is performed by briefly heating raw milk to kill disease-causing germs -- Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Campylobacter -- that can be found in raw milk.

Maryland state law prohibits the sale of unpasteurized milk, officials said.

Getting sick from raw milk can mean many days of diarrhea, stomach cramping and vomiting, but it can also mean kidney failure, paralysis, chronic disorders, and even death, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

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