Raw Milk Sicknesses Rise




This is Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron. Got a minute?
Got bacteria?
That's the question du jour for people on both sides of the debate about raw milk.
That's milk which has not undergone pasteurization, the century-old process of using heat to kill potentially harmful bacteria.
Thirty states allow consumers to buy raw milk.
Proponents of raw milk contend that it provides health benefits and tastes better.
Opponents note that more people are getting sick from bacteria in the raw milk.
And the CDC recommends avoiding it.
A new study finds that between 2010 and 2012, 5 percent of all U.S.food-borne outbreaks with a known source were tied to raw milk.
An outbreak is defined as two or more cases of similar illness resulting from ingestion of the same food.
The research is in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Microbes in raw milk, including salmonella, E.coli, campylobacter and Listeria—sparked an average of three outbreaks per year between 1993 and 2006.
But the new study finds an average of 13 such outbreaks annually from 2007 through 2012.
During that time raw milk consumption resulted in 979 illnesses and 73 hospitalizations.
And more than 80 percent of such cases occurred in states where selling raw milk is legal.
So caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.
And the drinker even more so.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron.