Raw milk risks documented

Given our “health concious” town of Port Townsend it’s worth reviewing the statistcs of raw milk caused disease. From the newsletter, Consumer Health Newsletter of Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Raw milk still a serious problem

After tabulating data from 2009 through 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued another warning about the risks associated with consumption of raw (unpasteurized) dairy products. Outbreak-related disease burden associated with consumption of unpasteurized cow’s milk and cheese, United States, 2009–2014. Emerging Infectious Diseases 23:957-964, 2017] The CDC report concluded:

The growing popularity of unpasteurized milk in the United States raises public health concerns. We estimated outbreak-related illnesses and hospitalizations caused by the consumption of cow’s milk and cheese contaminated with Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter spp. using a model relying on publicly available outbreak data. In the United States, outbreaks associated with dairy consumption cause, on average, 760 illnesses/year and 22 hospitalizations/year, mostly from Salmonella and Campylobacter. Unpasteurized milk, consumed by only 3.2% of the population, and cheese, consumed by only 1.6% of the population, caused 96% of illnesses caused by contaminated dairy products. Unpasteurized dairy products thus cause 840 times more illnesses and 45 times more hospitalizations than pasteurized products. As consumption of unpasteurized dairy products grows, illnesses will increase steadily.

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