A Closer Look at the Risks of Raw Milk

There has been a debate in the nutrition and health worlds as to which is the better option in regards to milk – pasteurised or non-pasteurised milk
December 13, 2012

There has been a debate in the nutrition and health worlds as to which is the better option in regards to milk – pasteurised or non-pasteurised milk.

Pasteurisation is, of course, the process by which raw milk is purified via heating to specific temperatures according to specific timetables. Despite the fact that pasteurisation kills off many bacteria and potential toxins that could be found in the milk, there are still many that insist raw milk is much safer and more healthful.

The Dangers of Consuming Raw Milk

In regards to food safety, it’s still considered to be remarkably unsafe to consume raw milk for a number of reasons. Raw milk can contain microorganisms responsible for extremely severe varieties of food poisoning. These organisms include salmonella, E. coli, and listeria among other dangers.

Infections resulting from consumption of these bacteria can result in serious complications for you and your family. This is especially the case for young children under the age of 6, elderly people, pregnant women, and anyone in your family who suffers from chronic health issues or a compromised immune system.

Myths About Pasteurisation

Most of the beliefs surrounding anti-pasteurisation thinking revolve around misinformation about the process. Pasteurising milk doesn’t make the milk more likely to trigger allergies or lactose intolerance, nor does it reduce the nutritional value of the milk or any dairy products made from it. What pasteurisation does do is kill harmful bacteria and save lives as a result, so always be sure to buy and consume only fully pasteurised options.

Furthermore, raw milk is not capable of killing off harmful bacteria on its own as some people believe. Only proper pasteurisation can do that. However, even pasteurised milk needs to be properly stored, handled, and refrigerated in order to prevent contamination.