Pennsylvania officials say by week’s end they should have lab results from samples of raw milk from Pot ‘O Gold Dairy Specialties. The unpasteurized milk is linked to a Salmonella outbreak in the state.
State health officials warned the public on Oct. 12 to discard the implicated milk, which was sold between Sept. 10 and Oct. 12. At least nine people have laboratory-confirmed Salmonella infections, according to the warning from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The health department is working with the state agriculture department on the outbreak investigation.
“Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture inspectors took samples from the bulk tank, and from bottled product at the dairy in Warren County,” the department’s press secretary told Food Safety News Tuesday, Oct. 16.
“Bottled product pulled from store shelves was also sent to us for testing. Samples were gathered late Friday, shipped yesterday, and arrived at our lab today.”
Press Secretary Shannon Powers said the agriculture department expects to have preliminary test results by the end of this week.
Owners of the Pot ‘O Gold dairy, which is near Bear Lake in northwest Warren County, said in a post on the company’s Facebook page that they have stopped distribution of their raw milk during the investigation. The dairy is continuing with its sales and distribution of pasteurized milk.
Other than the number of confirmed illnesses, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has not released any information about the outbreak patients or when they became ill. Department Press Secretary Nate Wardle told Food Safety News no patient updates were available as of Tuesday.
The incubation time for Salmonella infections is usually 12 to 72 hours after exposure. People generally begin feeling symptoms at that point, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Anyone who was consumed any of the Pot ‘O Gold whole, raw milk sold in half-gallon glass bottles and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention. Also, anyone who has served raw milk, especially to children or elderly people, should advise those people to watch for symptoms.
The CDC says symptoms can include diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. In otherwise healthy adults, the illness usually lasts four to seven days. However, in children, the elderly and people in other high-risk groups such as cancer patients and pregnant women, serious infections and complications can develop because of their compromised or undeveloped immune systems.
“CDC estimates Salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year,” according to the agency’s website.
“Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses.”
How to identify the implicated Pot ‘O Gold raw milk
Almost no labeling information is available to help consumers determine whether they have any of the Pot ‘O Gold Dairy Specialties raw milk on hand. Other than the Sept. 10 through Oct. 12 sales period, no date or labeling codes were included in the state warning.
At least 16 stores in the Bear Lake, PA, area sold it, according to state officials.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports the implicated raw milk was sold at:
- Buck and Kathy, Titusville
- D&J Bakery, Cambridge Springs
- Miller’s Country Store, Cochranton
- Corry Lumber, Corry
- Duran’s Farm Fresh Products, Waterford
- Edinboro Market, Edinboro
- Orton’s Fruit Market, North East
- Sander’s Market, Corry
- McKean County
- Circle K Feeds, Kane
- Farmer’s Daughter’s Country Market
- Kondak’s Market, Clarendon
- Lottsville Milling, Lottsville
- Scandia General Store, Scandia
- Shell Service Center, Warren
- Town and Country Store, Sugar Grove
- Youngsville Hardware, Youngsville
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