Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Our milk has been a lot safer from dangerous bacteria since we started to pasteurize it. Tests have shown that 2-25% of raw milk carries bugs like Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli, Salmonella, Yersinia, Brucella, Mycobacterium bovis and Coxiella burnetti.

Some studies argue that these bacteria have become even more numerous in recent years as many dairy farmers in countries such as the U.S. give their cattle hormones to increase their milk production. This practice tends to result in more mastitis (inflammation of the udders). This is not just unpleasant for the poor cow, but results in more bacteria in their milk.

Thank goodness we have pasteurization. Sorry, for these reasons, I am not a fan of raw dairy, although I have known several people who are. (I also knew one person who died from eating raw dairy - cheese in her case). Pasteurization is a good aspect of our modern food supply. It is relatively easy to do, with heat treatment using one of several standarized methods (e.g. holding the milk at a temperature of 162 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds).

So how could things possibly go wrong? Apparently they can. Farmers All Natural Creamery in Wellman, Iowa, in the United States, has recalled nearly 1,000 gallons of whole milk because tests suggest that it hadn't been properly pasteurized.

The milk was sold to four distributors — UNFI in Aurora, Colo. and Lancaster, Texas, Calma Optimal in Franklin Park, Ill. and Natural Brands in Wood Dale, Ill. Who knows where it went from there.

To your good health,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Poor old Louis Pasteur must be spinning in his grave. 130 years after he developed this technique, dairy farmers still can't get it right!