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PITTSBURGH — Pritzker Olsen P.A., the national food safety law firm, has been retained by the family of a Pittsburgh-area man on life support after consuming raw milk adulterated with Campylobacter bacteria.
According to the law firm:
James Orchard, a 67 year-old from Mars, Pa., was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. One of the most common antecedent events to those who suffer from GBS is prior infection with Campylobacter. Except for minimal head and eye movement, Orchard is totally paralyzed.
Several days prior to the onset of his illness, Orchard and other members of his family, consumed raw milk purchased at the McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Store in Mars, Pa., on March 16, 2010. The raw milk was produced by Dean Farms doing business as Pasture Maid LLC, a creamery in New Castle, Pa.
According to a recent press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, “the permit for Pasture Maid Creamery in New Castle, Lawrence County, to sell raw milk for human consumption was suspended April 5 after testing found Campylobacter in its raw milk samples.
Stool samples obtained from Orchard also tested positive for Campylobacter. Milk from the bottles produced by Dean Farms doing business as Pasture Maid, LLC and purchased at the McGinnis Sisters store tested positive for the pathogen as well.
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization, a “kill step,” destroys pathogens like Campylobacter. Raw milk is an important vehicle in the transmission of Campylobacter and other foodborne pathogens including: Enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella species, E. coli (EHEC) (ETEC), Listeria monocytogenes, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Mycobacterium bovis, Brucella species (abortus — cattle) (melitensis — goats), Coxiella burnetii and Yersinia enterocolitica.
Even after its permit to sell raw milk was suspended, both Dean Farms DBA Pasture Maid Creamery, LLC and McGinnis Sisters Special Foods Store continue to claim the raw milk produced there is safe and of good quality.
Pritzker Olsen law firm, headquartered in Minneapolis, represents individuals and families in cases involving foodborne illness.