HARRISBURG, Pa. — Consumers who purchased raw milk from Gross Family Dairy in South Sterling, Wayne County, are being advised to discard it immediately due to the risk of Listeria.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said Dec. 30 that raw milk collected during required routine sampling by a commercial laboratory on Dec. 17, tested positive for the bacteria. 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 their physician. Symptoms of Listeriosis can appear in four days or up to three weeks after ingestion.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.
Gross Family Dairy sells raw milk on their farm as well as in Stroudsburg, Monroe County, at Earthlight Natural Foods, the Stroudsburg Farmers Market and the Monroe Farmers Market. It also sells raw milk at Dutch’s Market in Greentown, Pike County; Everything Natural in Clarks Summit, Lackawanna County; and at Matt’s Farm Stand in Hamlin, Wayne County. The milk is sold in half gallons and pints, and was bottled December 20, with a sell-by date of December 30.
Agriculture officials have ordered the owner to stop sale of all raw milk until further notice. Two samples taken at least 24 hours apart must test negative for pathogens before the farm can resume raw milk sales.
Pennsylvania law allows farms to sell raw milk, but requires the farms to be permitted and inspected by the Department of Agriculture to reduce health risks associated with unpasteurized products. When an incident of contamination is discovered, the department’s milk sanitarian works with the raw milk permit holder to educate them on where the issue occurred and how to find a solution.
Symptoms of Listeriosis are fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms such as headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur. Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness, but infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. For more information about Listeriosis, visit www.health.pa.gov.
To date, the Pennsylvania Health Department is not aware of any illnesses related to these products.
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