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Agriculture Department Says Lancaster County Raw Milk Dairy Tests Positive for Salmonella

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 General News J E 4
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 20 Consumers who purchased raw milk from the Conestoga Valley Dairy Farm in Ephrata, Lancaster County, should discard it immediately due to the risk of Salmonella contamination, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.



Raw milk has not been pasteurized to kill disease-causing bacteria or homogenized. Pennsylvania farms selling raw milk must have a permit and have product samples tested in a laboratory due to the health risks associated with unpasteurized products.



"During routine testing, samples taken at the dairy tested positive for Salmonella," said Wolff. "If consumers have raw milk from this farm, they should discard it immediately."



No illnesses have been reported as a result of the potential contamination, but if people who consumed the raw milk become ill, they should consult a physician.



Samples taken from the farm on Jan. 12 tested positive for Salmonella on Jan. 20. Until multiple laboratory samples test negative, the Department of Agriculture recommends against drinking unpasteurized milk from the farm.



The farm's milk can continue to be safely sold for pasteurization to a processing facility.



Conestoga is cooperating with the department to identify and resolve the contamination source and the owner has agreed to stop selling raw milk until that time.



Symptoms of Salmonellosis include fever, abdominal pain and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear six to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food.





CONTACT: Chris L. Ryder (717) 787-5085

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
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