Between 2000 and 2008, the U.S. reported 12 documented outbreaks of food-borne illness associated with the consumption of raw milk. "From these outbreaks, 435 persons were diagnosed with food-borne infections traced back to the product, with more than 60 people hospitalized and five deaths including stillbirths due listeriosis,” reports a recently released position paper on raw milk issued by NMC
During that same period, just two cases of food-borne illness were associated with pasteurized milk products, notes NMC. The difference is magnified even further because raw milk is less than 1% of all milk products consumed.
NMC notes that more than a dozen U.S. and international health agencies and associations advise against the consumption of unpasteurized milk. "Educational programs are needed to insure that vulnerable populations (the elderly, pregnant women, immunosuppressed people and children) truly understand the risks that are associated with consumption of these products,” says NMC.
For the complete NMC position paper on raw milk, click here