"If you’re thinking about drinking raw milk because you believe it has health benefits, consider other options. Raw milk can contain harmful germs, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which can make you very sick, or even kill you or a loved one.
Developing a healthy lifestyle involves making many decisions about what you eat and drink. Raw milk is milk from any animal that has not been pasteurized (heated to a specific temperature for a set amount of time) to kill harmful germs that may be in it. Because these germs usually don’t change the look, taste, or smell of milk, pasteurization is the best way to make sure your milk is safe.
Questions and Answers about Raw Milk
Can raw milk hurt me or my family?
Yes. Raw milk can carry harmful germs that can make you very sick or even kill you. These germs include Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella.
Getting sick from raw milk can mean many days of diarrhea, stomach cramping, and vomiting. Less commonly, it can lead to severe or even life-threatening illness, including Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can result in kidney failure, stroke, and even death.
Who has a greater chance of getting sick from drinking raw milk or eating products made from raw milk, such as cheese, ice cream, and yogurt?The chance of getting sick from drinking raw milk is greater for infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems (such as people with cancer, an organ transplant, or HIV), than for healthy adults. However, healthy people of any age can get very sick or even die if they drink raw milk contaminated with harmful germs..".