Cornell: Drinking Raw Milk Puts Farmworkers, Babies And Others At Higher Disease RiskDr. Ynte Schukken, professor of epidemiology and herd health at Cornell University, co-authored a paper in the August issue of the Journal of Food Production quantifying the risk of contracting Listeria monocytogenes from raw milk. According to the study, raw milk from retailers proved most dangerous.
From the Chronicle Online by Carly Hodes (published November 8, 2011):
Will a fresh glass of "raw" milk nourish or poison you? Pasteurization almost always provides protection from contamination. Unpasteurized "raw" milk, on the other hand, provides a potential breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter and Salmonella, all of which have caused outbreaks spread by raw milk in the past year, said Ynte Schukken, professor of epidemiology and herd health at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.
He has co-authored a paper in the August issue of the Journal of Food Production quantifying the risk of contracting Listeria monocytogenes from raw milk. In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agriculture Research Service and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the four-year project of graduate student Alejandra Latorre produced a comprehensive map showing which populations were most at risk when buying from various sources.
"Listeria is one of the most virulent and deadly foodborne pathogens," said Schukken. "Our study demonstrates the relative risk various populations face when ingesting raw milk, including farmworkers, pregnant women, young babies and the elderly. Compared to intermediate-aged adults, these last three groups were particularly susceptible."
Read the full story: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Nov11/RawMilk.html
Latorre, A. A., A. K. Pradhan, J. A. S. Van Kessel, J. S. Karns, K. J. Boor, D. H. Rice, K. J. Mangione, Gr, Y. T. hn, and Y. H. Schukken. 2011. Quantitative Risk Assessment of Listeriosis Due to Consumption of Raw Milk. Journal of Food Protection 174; 74:1268-1281.
The objectives of this study were to estimate the risk of illness for raw milk consumers due to Listeria monocytogenes in raw milk sold by permitted dealers, and the risk for people on farms who consume raw milk. Three scenarios were evaluated for raw milk sold by dealers: raw milk purchased directly from bulk tanks, from on-farm stores, and from retail. To assess the effect of mandatory testing of raw milk by regulatory agencies, the number of listeriosis cases per year was compared where no raw milk testing was done, only a screening test to issue a permit was conducted, and routine testing was conducted and milk was recalled if it was L. monocytogenes positive. The median number of listeriosis cases associated with consumption of raw milk from bulk tanks, farm stores, and retail for an intermediate-age population was 6.6 × 10-7, 3.8 × 10-5, and 5.1 × 10-5 cases per year, respective ly. In populations with high susceptibility, the estimated median number of cases per year was 2.7 × 10-7 (perinatal, i.e., pregnant women and their fetuses or newborns) and 1.4 × 10-6 (elderly) for milk purchased from bulk tanks, 1.5 × 10-5 (perinatal) and 7.8 × 10-5 (elderly) for milk from farm stores, and 2.1 × 10-5 (perinatal) and 1.0 × 10-4 (elderly) for milk from retail. For raw milk consumed on farms, the median number of listeriosis cases was 1.4 × 10-7 cases per year. A greater risk of listeriosis was associated with consumption of raw milk obtained from retail and farm stores as compared with milk obtained from bulk tanks. This was likely due to additional time-temperature combination steps in the retail and farm store models, which increased the chances for growth of L. monocytogenes in raw milk. A close relationship between prevalence of L. monocytogenes in raw milk and the values of disease incidence was observed. Hence, a reduction in the number of cases per year in all populations was observed when a raw milk-testing program was in place, especially when routine testing and recalling of milk was conducted.
Real Life Dangers of Raw Milk
Several families offered to share their stories on video to help raise awareness about the potential risks and negative effects on health from drinking contaminated raw milk.Real Life Stories