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Considering the various risks of raw milk

February 4, 2014

There has been a degree of controversy in the circles of health and nutrition when it comes to the selecting the “best” milk option.

The two major strains to choose from are pasteurised and non-pasteurised products. Pasteurised milk is raw milk that has gone through a process of heating via specific timetables and carefully monitored temperatures. Although the pasteurisation process is conducive to removing a great deal of the potential toxins and bacteria that could be lurking within the product, some still insist that raw milk is the healthier choice.

Raw milk consumption risks

When considering food safety, the consumption of raw milk is still regarded as unsafe for various reasons. Firstly, raw milk can be home to microorganisms that are responsible for inflicting severe types of food poisoning, including E. coli, salmonella and listeria.
Illnesses and infections that arise through the consumption of these bacteria can lead to serious health issues for consumers. This is especially relevant in regards to elderly people, children younger than six, pregnant women, and those with a compromised immune system or chronic health problems.

Pasteurisation facts and fiction

Most of the common beliefs that provide the foundation for anti-pasteurisation supporters are actually based on misinformation. The truth is that pasteurising raw milk does not diminish the nutritional value in the milk, nor does it make the product more likely to trigger lactose intolerance or allergies. What pasteurisation actually does is kill off harmful bacteria, keeping consumers safe and healthy as a result.

Despite what some people believe, raw milk cannot naturally kill off harmful bacteria itself. Only the process of pasteurisation can rid the product of those dangerous micro-organisms that can lead to health problems. However, even pasteurised milk must be handled, stored, and refrigerated properly to prevent contamination at a later stage.