A report titled Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006 was published recently by the Centers for Disease Control.
In it they provide an analysis of data for dairy-associated disease outbreaks for the thirteen-year period. They found 121 outbreaks with a known pasteurization status, meaning it was known whether or not the products had been pasteurized. Of the 121 identified outbreaks, 73 (60 percent) involved nonpasteurized products and resulted in 1,571 cases, 202 hospitalizations, and 2 deaths. CDC also found nonpasteurized products caused a disproportionate number of outbreaks and outbreak-associated illnesses while additionally impacting more persons less than 20 years of age.
“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,” said study co-author Dr. Barbara Mahon, deputy chief of CDC’s enteric diseases epidemiology branch. (Source: CBS News)
A Cornell University study found infants are more at risk from raw milk as well. This study is worth mentioning in the light of the ‘defense’ that the government is unfairly attacking raw milk and they are the only source of information countering its use.
Raw milk advocates and enthusiasts claim raw milk is healthier. A raw milk dairy farmer responded saying people get sick from campylobacter, not from raw milk. He also said raw milk is vilified, while other foods such as peanut butter and cantaloupe are not.
The CDC study was published in this month’s edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, and is one of the largest of its kind.
Image Credit: Keith Weller/USDA Public Domain Wiki Commons