Saturday, 20 April 2013

Raw milk fan? Report shows raw milk food poisonings are increasing

Raw milk fan? Report shows raw milk food poisonings are increasing, Raw milk may be one of the latest health trends, but it may also be linked to increasing cases of food poisonings. Infections and deaths from campylobacter, which is linked to raw milk, have grown over the last five years, The Associated Press said April 17.

Cases of campylobacter infection grew by 14 percent over the last five years, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Campylobacter is often associated with raw milk and poultry.

The CDC report is considered the nation's annual food safety report card. The report, based on findings from 10 states that are generalized to the U.S. population, shows that overall food poisonings have held steady over the past five years.

But campylobacter infections did rise. Campylobacter accounted for more than one-third of food poisoning illnesses and about a 10th of the deaths last year. Campylobacter is often linked to drinking raw milk.

Raw milk, also known as unpasteurized milk, is thought by some to be healthier than pasteurized milk and to contain special nutritional properties. But unpasteurized raw milk is more likely to contain harmful bacteria and other pathogens.

Most health experts believe that raw milk doesn’t have superior health benefits and actually is more likely to make people sick than pasteurized milk.

Because of the potential dangers of raw milk, some states, like Minnesota, restrict the sale of raw milk for human consumption. Minnesota law does allow consumers to occasionally obtain raw milk directly from dairy farmers.

The CDC food safety report card also showed that there was an increase in illnesses from a group of bacteria called vibrio. Vibrio are associated with shellfish. While there were only 200 cases of vibrio infection last year, that still represents a 43 percent increase from five years ago.

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