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Raw Milk is More Nutritious Than Pasteurized Milk

Raw milk—milk that has not been pasteurized or homogenized—has gained in popularity the past few years due to the perception that it contains higher levels of nutrients and other health benefits than pasteurized milk. In reality, pasteurization—the process of heating milk for a short period of time at a high temperature—has helped provide a safe milk supply for over 120 years and does NOT reduce milk’s nutritional value.1

Raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerously high levels of bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, which can cause serious foodborne illnesses. Symptoms of food borne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and body ache. Most healthy people will recover from an illness caused by such bacteria, but some groups are more susceptible and may develop chronic, severe, life-threatening illness.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health agencies of the United States strongly recommend that the public do not consume raw milk or raw milk products.2 Young children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are particularly susceptible to infections originating in raw milk.3 The CDC reports that more than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998.2 The actual number of those affected is much higher as many cases go unreported. To avoid the risks linked to consuming raw milk, read the label to make sure your milk is pasteurized … and make sure other dairy products—cheese, yogurt, pudding, cream cheese, cottage cheese, ice cream and frozen yogurt—are all made from pasteurized milk.

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