Raw milk especially dangerous to some

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New research from Ynte Schukken, DVM, MS, PhD, Cornell University, is underscoring what many in the scientific community have been saying for a number of years – raw milk can be dangerous, and to certain individuals especially.

In an article in the August Journal of Food Protection, Schukken and his colleagues have identified that pregnant women, young babies and the elderly are the three groups that are at the highest risk for contracting Listeria monocytogenes from drinking raw milk, and that farm workers are also at risk as well.

The article’s abstract says a greater risk of listeriosis was associated with consumption of raw milk obtained from retail and farm stores as compared with milk obtained from bulk tanks. This was likely due to additional time-temperature combination steps in the retail and farm store models, which increased the chances for growth of L. monocytogenes in raw milk.

In an article from Cornell University Schukken said: “Listeria is one of the most virulent and deadly foodborne pathogens.”

Bovine Veterinarian has published and linked to numerous articles and pieces of information on the potential foodborne risks of raw milk. You can find out more about raw milk from these sources:



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Joseph Heckman    
New Jersey  |  November, 25, 2011 at 06:18 PM

Grass to the Glass: Raw Milk and Informed Consumer Choice. Joseph R. Heckman, Plant Biology & Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2011asa/webprogram/Paper69539.html

E Hall    
Potsdam, NY  |  November, 28, 2011 at 04:19 PM

My family, including the elderly, the pregnant, and the little babies, has always drank raw milk. Pretty much everyone I know also drinks raw milk. I don't personally know of a single case of anyone getting sick from raw milk consumption. We all drink milk from our own family cow or get it from a small dairy where the cows are happy, healthy, and well cared for. I'm sure there is raw milk that really is dangerous to drink, such as milk from mega dairy farms and farms where overcrowding, poor nutrition, and poor sanitation are common. When I hear dairy groups condemning the consumption of raw milk because it so dangerous, it makes me wonder what non-dairy folks think. After all, if it's so horrible raw, how much better can it be after it's been pasteurized. If I was convinced that the milk I drink would likely make me sick or kill me if it was raw, it wouldn't be my beverage of choice even if it was pasteurized. All that said, I do believe that if folks are legally allowed to poison themselves with known poisons such as cigarettes and alcohol, then surely they should be allowed to legally purchase and consume whatever milk they choose, even if it's bad milk. I think we all could agree that way more people die every year from alcohol and tobacco consumption that what would ever die from raw milk consumption, even if most people drank raw milk and the milk did come from poor farms.