Want some bacteria with your morning cereal? Some Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella or E-coli? If you like raw milk, that’s just what you might be getting, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC conducted a 13-year review of dairy-associated disease outbreaks that occurred between 1993 and 2006. The agency found that 60 percent of the outbreaks were caused by dairy products that did not go through the pasteurization process. Of those outbreaks, 75 percent happened in states that permitted the sale of nonpasteurized products.
The report’s conclusion: States that restricted the sale of products made from raw milk had fewer outbreaks and illnesses, and that stronger restrictions and enforcement should be considered.
Why does the AVMA care about the potential dangers associated with consuming raw milk products? Because veterinarians play a central role in food safety, and that includes the health of dairy cows and the safety of the food products they produce. We have a huge interest in food safety overall, and we take a pretty strong stance on raw milk products because of the dangers associated with consuming them.
We’re not here to lecture, but we take our role as food-safety advocates and communicators seriously. That’s why we recommend that people get educated about the potential dangers associated with raw milk products. They can make up their own minds after that, but at least they’ll be making an informed decision.