Scientists have recently discovered MRSA bacteria in raw milk. Once milk is pasteurized, it's perfectly safe. But people are increasingly singing the praises of raw milk. So how safe is raw milk?
Here's what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Have to say about raw milk. Spoiler alert: it's not pretty.
1. Raw milk is one of the riskiest foods you can eat for contacting a food borne illness.
2. The risk of getting sick from drinking raw milk is greater for infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with cancer, an organ transplant, or HIV/AIDS, than it is for healthy school-aged children and adults. But, it is important to remember that healthy people of any age can get very sick or even die if they drink raw milk contaminated with harmful germs.
3. Raw milk can cause serious infections. Raw milk and raw milk products (such as cheeses and yogurts made with raw milk) can be contaminated with bacteria that can cause serious illness, hospitalization, or death. These harmful bacteria include Brucella, Campylobacter, Listeria,Mycobacterium bovis, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Shigella, Streptococcus pyogenes, andYersinia enterocolitica.
4. How does raw milk get contaminated?
- Cow feces coming into direct contact with the milk
- Infection of the cow’s udder (mastitis)
- Cow diseases (e.g., bovine tuberculosis)
- Bacteria that live on the skin of cows
- Environment (e.g., feces, dirt, processing equipment)
- Insects, rodents, and other animal vectors
- Humans, for example, by cross-contamination from soiled clothing and boots
- Pasteurization is the only way to kill many of the bacteria in milk that can make people very sick.