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CDC: Raw Milk Illnesses Rising

Thursday, 23 February 2012 01:55 PM

Illnesses and outbreaks tied to unpasteurized raw milk are on the rise, according to a new federal health report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said raw milk was 13 times more likely to be the culprit in more than 120 foodborne-illness outbreaks tied to milk since 1993 -- even though 99 percent of the products sold in the U.S. are pasteurized.
Because raw milk is not pasteurized – a process that involves heating to kill disease-causing germs -- the pathogens it sometimes carries (including staph, salmonella and listeria) can sicken consumers, CDC experts said.
The study, published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, found that the 30 states that permit the sale of raw milk have twice as many outbreaks as those that ban it.
“Consumption of nonpasteurized dairy products cannot be considered safe under any circumstances,” the researchers concluded.
Raw milk has been identified as the source of Pennsylvania campylobacter outbreak that has sickened dozens of people there and in other states.
Raw milk has been embraced by some as a health food that can protect against disease. But health officials have expressed concerns about its growing popularity because of its potential to spread disease, particularly in younger people.
“Pasteurization is the most reliable and feasible way to render dairy products safe for consumption,” CDC researchers concluded. “Public health officials at all levels should continue to develop innovative methods to educate consumers and caregivers about the dangers associated with nonpasteurized dairy products.
“State officials should consider further restricting or prohibiting the sale or distribution of nonpasteurized dairy products within their states.”

© HealthDay

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Federal health officials are reporting a spike in illnesses and outbreaks tied to raw milk.
Thursday, 23 February 2012 01:55 PM
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