The Centers for Disease Control, along with health officials in New York and New Jersey, are warning consumers about the risks of drinking raw milk and raw-milk products in the wake of reports that a New Jersey resident became ill from the germ Brucella RB51 after drinking raw milk.
Nicole Martin, associate director of the Milk Quality Improvement Program in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, says that there are inherent risks associated with raw milk consumption.
“Some people may choose to consume raw milk because of perceived or believed health benefits. However, there are inherent risks associated with the consumption of raw milk.
“Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that raw milk is at least 150 times more likely to cause a foodborne disease outbreak than pasteurized milk.
“Pathogens including Campylobacter, E. coli and Salmonella can be present in raw milk, even when the product comes from animals that are healthy and appear clean. These bacteria pose a particular health risk to infants, toddlers, pregnant women and people with chronic disease or a suppressed immune system. Pasteurization eliminates these pathogens and reduces the risk of contracting a foodborne illness.”