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Diseases From Raw Milk Consumption

Milk is an important part of a person's diet. Unfortunately, it can also carry certain organisms that can cause severe disease in humans (1). One way to prevent this is by pasteurizing the milk. Pasteurization kills the organisms that cause disease without destroying the milk. It also increases the shelf life of milk by destroying proteins and bacteria in the milk that cause it to spoil. Click on the links below to read a few reports of human illness caused by the consumption of raw milk or raw milk products:

  1. Real life videos of infections from drinking raw milk.
  2. Salmonella Typhimurium Infection Associated with Raw Milk and Cheese Consumption --- Pennsylvania, 2007
  3. Multi-state outbreak of Salmonella (2002-2003)
  4. Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in children in California (2006)
  5. Outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes in North Carolina (2001)

Below are some diseases associated with drinking raw milk.
 

10 Diseases
Organism 
Symptoms and Complications
Campylobacteriosis
Campylobacter sp.
bloody diarrhea
Salmonellosis
Salmonella sp.
bloody diarrhea
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
E. coli O157:H7
diarrhea, kidney failure, death
Yersiniosis
Yersinsia enterocolitica
diarrhea
Listeriosis
Listeria monocytogenes
meningitis, blood infections
Tuberculosis
Mycobacterium tuberculosis
tuberculosis; pneumonia
Brucellosis
Brucella sp.
blood infections, heart infections
Cryptosporidiosis
Cryptosporidium parvum
diarrhea
Staphylococcal enterotoxin poisoning
Staphylococcus aureus
vomiting
Q fever
Coxiella burnetti
high fever, severe headache, muscle aches (can infect the liver and/or heart)

For more information on how milk is pasteurized click on the University of Guelph's Dairy Science and Technology page.

1.Potter ME, Kaufmann AF, Blake PA, Feldman RA. Unpasteurized milk: the hazards of a health fetish. JAMA
     1984;252:2048--52.

2. Hazards of raw milk product consumption.

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© 1996-2013 Neal Chamberlain. All rights reserved.  
Site Last Revised 11/17/14
Neal Chamberlain, PhD. A. T. Still University of Health Sciences/Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.