Please, don't drink raw milk
A warning from the CDC-
Is a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care / GI Care for Kids, whose books on nutrition for parents led him to start Nutrition4Kids with his co-founders.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a letter, The Raw Milk Letter (available at https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/pdfs/raw-milk-letter-to-states-2014-508c.pdf with additional links to other resources and references). In short it says: Please, don't drink raw milk.
Raw milk and cheese have caused over 2,300 illnesses over 13 years beginning in 1998 with 250 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. What's worse is that 81% of these outbreaks have been the 30 states where it is legal to sell raw milk. That means that where raw milk goes, sickness follows! This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics has continued to push for the ban of raw milk consumption in the United States.
Why Avoid Raw Milk?
The reason: raw milk can contain harmful bacteria that makes people, especially children, sick. It was only in the 1800s after Louis Pasteur developed a process to heat and cool liquids that milk became safer to drink. Since then, dairy-related infections have dropped from 25% of all food-borne illnesses to 1% today.
Still, raw milk drinkers choose it because it has a slightly higher nutrient content. Yet, it is important to stress that kids and adults can get those nutrients (like vitamin C and some minerals) from other foods –and it's not worth the risk of getting sick from contaminated raw milk.
Importance of milk in the diet
Milk (and other dairy products) are an important source of:
- Vitamins (A, B6, B12, D and K)
- Calcium and phosphorus
It's also important to make sure that the milk is handled safely. Keep it in the refrigerator at the appropriate temperature, and throw away any outdated or spoiled milk or milk products. Outdated and spoiled milk can also breed dangerous bacteria.
Ultra-pasteurized milk is used in Europe and other parts of the world. Higher heating allows the milk to be stored without refrigeration. But once the container is opened, the same preventive measures apply. Keep the unused portion refrigerated and discard any spoiled portion or whatever hasn't been used in a week.
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