Milk and dairy products are important components of a healthy diet because they provide a wealth of nutritional benefits. However, unpasteurized milk or dairy products can be excellent vehicles for the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms, which have been scientifically shown to increase the risk of morbidity and mortality in individuals who consume unpasteurized milk products. As a result, milk produced in the United States undergoes extensive and rigorous safety and quality tests before it enters the market place, ensuring that US milk and dairy products are among the safest and most regulated foods in the world. This article describes the process of milk pasteurization and the dangers associated with unpasteurized milk consumption and provides evidence that there is no nutritional advantage to consuming unpasteurized milk
Consumers need to recognize the risks they run in drinking raw milk
Christopher J. Cifelli, PhD, is a director of Nutrition Research at The National Dairy Council at Rosemont, Illinois.
Isabel S. Maples, RD, MEd, is a National Dairy Council Ambassador at Haymarket, Virginia.
Gregory D. Miller, PhD, MACN, is executive vice president of Research, Regulatory, and Scientific Affairs at the National Dairy Council at Rosemont, Illinois, and is an adjunct associate professor of nutrition in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at University of Illinois, Urbana.
Correspondence: Gregory D. Miller, PhD, MACN, National Dairy Council, Suite 900, 10255 West Higgins Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018 (firstname.lastname@example.org).