The Department of Agriculture today advised consumers who purchased raw milk from Alvin J. Stoltzfus, of Paradise, Lancaster County, to discard the product immediately because of potential bacterial contamination.  Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized.

A Department of Agriculture lab found Listeria monocytogenese in a milk sample taken from the dairy on June 7. The bacteria’s presence violates the Milk Sanitation Law.

Mr. Stoltzfus agreed with the department’s request to stop selling raw milk for human consumption.
The shelf-life for raw milk is about 10 days, but can be longer if the milk is frozen. Freezing the milk will not necessarily kill the Listeria monocytogenese bacteria.

Symptoms of Listeriosis are fever, muscle aches, and sometimes gastrointestinal complications, such as nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions. The symptoms can appear anywhere between four days and three weeks after infection.

The department is moving to suspend Mr. Stoltzfus’ raw milk permit until additional milk samples are tested and found to be free of Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogens. The department must also approve before the farm can resume selling raw milk.

For more information about food safety, visit

For more information on raw milk safety, visit