Raw milk sales resume at MontCo farm

September 22, 2008 2:51:12 PM PDT
After a one-week suspension because nearly a dozen customers became ill, a Telford, Pa., dairy farm is now being allowed to sell unpasteurized milk again.

Hendricks Dairy in Telford, Montgomery County has resumed sales of raw milk.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has lifted its suspension on sales, after tests showed no evidence of any dangerous bacteria.

The department suspended the farms permit September 12, after reports that people who purchased raw milk from the dairy had campylobacter, an intestinal bacteria. Tests of at least 9 people showed signs of the bacteria. A number of others complained of illnesses, but weren't tested.

Samples taken from the farm from September 11 to 16 were negative for campylobacter, and an inspection of the farm on September 18 was satisfactory.

As a precaution, samples from the farm will be tested for the next three weeks.

The Food & Drug Administration, state farm agencies, and raw milk producers have been at odds in recent years over the growing popularity of the unpasteurized milk. There are now 115 sellers in Pennsylvania with sales permits, more than double the number of 3 years ago. Advocates say the raw milk is much healthier, but the FDA and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture say it carries a higher infection risk.

Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released a statement saying in part.... " raw milk is an inherently unsafe produce regardless of how it is produced."

Sales of the milk are illegal in New Jersey and Delaware.