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Pa. health dept. warns of salmonella contamination in raw milk

raw milkThe Associated Press in Harrisburg reports that the state health department warned consumers Friday not to drink raw milk from a dairy farm after two people who drank it were sickened by salmonella.

There was evidence of salmonella in a milk sample obtained from the people who drank it, and samples from Stump Acres Dairy in New Salem tested positive for salmonella, said Dr. Calvin B. Johnson.  Raw milk sales have been suspended at the dairy, he said.

The consumers who fell ill are recovering, Health Department spokesman Richard McGarvey said. They fell ill last month.  Glendora Marie Stump, the dairy’s owner, disputed the state’s findings, saying samples sent to a private laboratory found no evidence of salmonella.

“Every time they try to shut me down, it just turns the public more curious about raw milk,” Stump said.

Raw milk has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria. Proponents say it contains more vitamins than pasteurized milk and can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant, although no health or nutritional benefits have been scientifically proven, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  State law requires raw milk to be sold on the premises of the dairies that produce it.