Raw milk is milk that is has not been pasteurized.
Why Raw Milk Is Dangerous?
According to the CDC, more than 800 people have gotten sick from consuming products that contained raw milk since 1998. Though not all raw milk is dangerous the potential that an animal is carrying a disease or that the collection efforts are not sterile is always present. Raw milk can contain diseases such as listeria, tuberculosis, brucellosis, typhoid fever, and diphtheria.
Pasteurized milk still contains low levels of nonpathogenic bacteria so it is still necessary to watch expiration dates and keep milk refrigerated.
What Is Pasteurization?
Pasteurization is the process by which milk is heated at a high enough temperature long enough to kill harmful microbes. Pasteurization also extends the shelf life of milk.
Name after chemist and microbiologist, Louis Pasteur, the process has saved countless lives since its introduction in 1858 as a means to pasteurize wine. In the 18th and 19th centuries, hundreds of children died from tuberculosis, undulant fever, and food poisoning from tainted milk.
Are You Inadvertently Consuming Raw Milk?
It’s one thing if you make the informed decision to consume raw milk, are aware of the possible dangers, and understand what you need to look for when purchasing these products. Some are not aware that they are even being exposed to these products as in the case with some of the world’s finest cheeses. If you are in doubt whether your Parmigian-Reggiano, Gruyere, or Fontina is made with raw milk check the packaging. Even if you choose to consume raw milk products, remember that children, the elderly, and pregnant women are the most susceptible.