Foxborough's Board of Health is expecting a crowd Monday night when it holds a hearing on proposed new stringent rules for raw milk.

Lawton's Family Farm in Foxborough, which sells unpasteurized milk from its two dozen cows, sent fliers to its customers warning that the new rules could put the 281-year-old farm out of business.

Since then, the Board of Health has been swamped with e-mails from irate raw milk fans, according to health director Pauline Clifford.

"Some of them are nasty, but most of them feel we're taking away their rights" to have raw milk, Clifford said. "We're not trying to take away their rights. We just want these regulations beefed up."


Critics of raw milk say it poses health problems, while its supporters say it has health benefits. The state Department of Agricultural Resources regulates raw milk dairies, requiring regular testing. Clifford said town health officials want to impose their own stricter rules because Lawton's Family Farm has had high bacteria counts twice since April.

The proposed rules set a lower level of bacteria allowed in weekly tests of raw milk. If a sample fails a test, the dairy would have to stay closed for a longer period than state rules mandate. The rules also would require the dairy to submit a list of its customers so they could be notified of any health issues, Clifford said.

The hearing on the proposed rules will be held in the McGinty Room at 8 Chestnut St. on Monday 7:45 p.m.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.