Pa. dairy resumes raw milk sales following outbreak

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Bottling has restarted at The Family Cow, a Pennsylvania dairy at the center of a Campylobacter outbreak. The 11-day voluntary shutdown began after consumers in four states reportedly became ill after drinking the farm’s raw milk.

According to the Chambersburg, Pa., Public Opinion, more than 40 people have now been affected by the outbreak.

"We are so connected to our customers," Family Cow owner Edwin Shank was quoted by the Public Opinion. "I feel the pain directly from my customers. This brings a tremendous amount of responsibility. We want to do better."

The dairy resumed bottling with a hotter wash and a pledge to test milk more often.

"I still have a little pain in my heart," Shank said. "People who still hurt or those who were sick put a little damper on our enthusiasm. We're definitely taking it very seriously."

The outbreak did little to sway the dairy’s loyal customers, including two who waited outside in freezing temperatures for the dairy’s store to open on Tuesday.

In addition to a hotter wash, the dairy is also installing lab equipment to test a few bottles for E.coli each time they bottle raw milk. They also are no longer accepting plastic shopping bags from customers or egg cartons for re-use, even if they may have had nothing to do with the outbreak.  

"We've doing a lot of things to eliminate any possibilities," Shank said. "We're taking it as a lesson learned. We're embarrassed and feel awful. We've got to do better."

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