The Checkup: 23 Sickened by Raw Milk from PA Farm

Unpasteurized cow's milk linked to illness

• I bring up this story mainly because, just the other day, I said to my husband, “We should try raw milk sometime.” I even went so far as to look up a place to buy it nearby. Then this story about 23 people who’ve been sickened by the unpasteurized stuff has me thinking twice. The milk came from a farm in south-central Pennsylvania that sells its products at markets in the Philly area, as well as other locations around the state. The farm says it’s tested its supplies but has found no traces of harmful bacteria; the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is running its own tests, but results aren’t in yet. In some states, it is illegal to bottle and sell raw milk, and according to federal law, it is illegal to sell raw milk across state lines. In Pennsylvania, 153 farms are permitted to sell raw milk and cheese. As required by law, the products are labeled with a warning about the possible health risks of consumption. Have you ever tried raw milk? If so, have you ever been worried about getting sick from it?

• Close your eyes and pretend it’s cold outside. Think of snow. Think of puffy down jackets. Think of anything other than the mild-weather pattern we seem to be enjoying lately (not that I’m complaining). Now, read this: a report which found that snowboarders are more injury-prone than skiers. Most injuries occur in young, inexperienced female snowboarders.

• Fun fact: The U.S. National Curling Championships are being held at an ice skating rink in Delaware County this month. The stone sweeping gets underway in Aston on February 11th.