As I post this latest article, I do realize that Food Poison Journal appears this week to be more like Raw Milk Journal. Believe it or not, we do make a genuine effort to post on a variety of foodborne illness-related subjects. With that in mind, I was tempted to refrain from posting another article on the subject today. But with news emerging this week of yet another outbreak associated with raw milk consumption (this time Campylobacter from a Michigan farm), and Wall Street Journal writer Laura Landro’s excellent article today on the contentious raw milk debate, I had to post just one more.
Advocates of fresh-from-the-farm unprocessed foods tout "raw" milk as the ultimate health food, claiming it is rich in disease-fighting nutrients and healthy enzymes that are lost in pasteurization. But public health officials are unequivocal that the risks of fresh milk far outweigh any benefits, and that pasteurization—heating milk at temperatures high enough to kill harmful bacteria—is the only way to ensure its safety.
Now amid new reports of illnesses linked to raw milk the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration are stepping up efforts to warn consumers of the dangers, and urging states to strengthen their regulations to minimize the hazards of raw milk. The FDA is also reviewing its policy covering hard cheeses made from raw milk, which are currently approved for sale if aged 60 days. A federal microbiology advisory committee has raised questions about whether that is sufficient to kill pathogens, as long believed.
On Friday, the FDA reported 12 new cases of illness in the Midwest linked to raw milk from a dairy contaminated with a dangerous bacterium, campylobacter. "Raw milk is inherently dangerous and should not be consumed by anyone, at any time, for any reason," says John Sheehan, director of the FDA’s division of plant- and dairy-food safety.
For the full article, click here.