Although it’s not actually breaking news that it’s indicated to avoid drinking raw milk, there still are a lot of people who don’t exactly abide by that recommendation. But perhaps a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might be incentive enough to cook your milk before drinking it. CDC says raw milk is behind many of today’s illnesses.
CDC researchers took a better look at all the dairy related outbreaks that occurred in the United States during 13 years, more precisely from 1993 to 2006. The conclusion was staggering: 121 disease outbreaks caused by dairy alone. Add to that the resulting 4,413 illnesses, 239 hospitalizations and 3 deaths.
Out of the 121 dairy based outbreaks, 60 percent was caused by raw milk based products, from cheese to yogurt. The data also showed that while 30 states across the United States recorded dairy based outbreaks, 21 of them were particularly dealing with raw milk illnesses. Adding to the argument is the fact that in all the 21 states, selling raw milk products was legal.
Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of the foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases unit with the CDC, warned that “the states that allow sale of raw milk will probably continue to see outbreaks in the future”.
After some back of the envelope calculations, scientists concluded that raw milk outbreaks are 150 times more likely to occur than that based on pasteurized dairy products.
Study co-author and deputy chief of CDC’ enteric diseases epidemiology unit, Dr. Barbara Mahon explained: “While some people think that raw milk has more health benefits than pasteurized milk, this study shows that raw milk has great risks, especially for children who experience more severe illnesses if they get sick”.
Bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are common in raw milk outbreaks and can cause serious damage. For instance, just at the beginning of this month, a Campylobacter raw milk outbreak resulted in 77 people fighting such an infection.
The study has been published in this month’s edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases and carries data from 13 years of dairy based outbreaks.