FDA warns of outbreaks related to drinking raw milk

Consumer Reports News: March 29, 2010 04:24 PM

Last week we blogged on the great debate over raw milk, and you weighed in on the blog and our Facebook page. Well now the Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers to an outbreak of campylobacteriosis linked to drinking raw milk that has sickened at least 12 people in Michigan. Symptoms of campylobacteriosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. The FDA has launched an investigation with Michigan state health officials into the outbreak and reports the raw milk originated from Forest Grove Dairy in Middlebury, Ind.

The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have expressed concerns about the hazards of drinking raw milk for decades. Raw milk is unpasteurized milk from hoofed mammals, such as cows, sheep, or goats. While research shows no meaningful difference between the nutrient content of raw milk and pasteurized milk, raw milk may contain a wide variety of pathogens—including Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella that may cause illness and possibly death. The harmful bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, infants, young children and people with weakened immune systems.

If you experience one or more of these symptoms after consuming raw milk or food products made from raw milk, the FDA asks that you contact your doctor immediately.

Ginger Skinner

For more on raw milk, read our recent blog post  and check out the FDA's Q&A on raw milk . And we'd like to hear from you: Do you drink raw milk? If so, will you continue to drink it, even after the FDA's warning?

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