Raw milk can contain dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Unpasteurized milk from cows, sheep or goats is raw milk that can carry dangerous bacteria such as:
• E. coli
More than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking unpasteurized milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998 with numerous foodborne illnesses. The bacterium in raw milk is especially dangerous to:
• Pregnant women
• The elderly
• People with weakened immune systems
Pasteurization is the process that kills harmful bacteria by heating milk to a specific temperature for a set period of time. Always store your pasteurized milk in the refrigerator.
Some people believe pasteurization harms milk and that raw milk is a safe healthier alternative. Review the following myths and proven facts:
• Pasteurizing milk does not cause lactose intolerance and allergic reactions
• Raw milk does not kill dangerous pathogens by itself
• Pasteurization does not mean you can leave the milk out of your refrigerator for extended periods of time
• The pasteurization process kills harmful bacteria
• Pasteurization of raw milk save lives
Symptoms of food borne illness caused by consuming products containing raw milk include:
• Abdominal pain
• Flu like symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches
Most healthy people recover from food borne illnesses caused by bacteria in raw milk or foods made with raw milk within a short period of time. Others can develop symptoms that are chronic, severe or even life-threatening. If you or someone you know becomes ill after consuming products with raw milk, consult a health care provider immediately.
Choose your milk products from the following list:
• Pasteurized milk or cream
• Hard chesses such as cheddar, and extra hard grating cheese such as Parmesan
• Soft cheese, such a Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheese, Mexican-style soft cheese such as Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero and Queso Blanco made from pasteurized milk
• Cream, cottage, and Ricotta cheese made from pasteurized milk
• Yogurt from pasteurized milk
• Pudding, ice cream and frozen yogurt made from pasteurized milk
If you are in doubt about a product, take a few moments to make sure the milk is pasteurized to protect you or your loved ones from serious food borne illnesses. Safe milk will have the word “pasteurized” on the label. If the word “pasteurized” does not appear on a product’s label it may contain raw milk. Don’t buy milk or milk products at farm stands or farmers’ markets unless you can confirm the products have been pasteurized.
Homemade Ice Cream
Serious infections from Salmonella can occur if you use raw or undercooked eggs in homemade ice cream. Use a pasteurized egg product, egg substitute or pasteurized shell eggs in place of the raw eggs in homemade ice cream.
Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Online
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information in this article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All health concerns should be addressed by a qualified health care professional. I do not sell or promote the products mentioned in this article. The article content is offered as a resource for healthier lifestyles. I am not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in this article.
By Connie Limon
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