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Lightlyseared's avatar


Why do you think we started pasteurizing milk in the first place?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Not since the 1800’s. Before that, people dropped like flies from it.

Smitha's avatar

Yes, raw milk carries harmful bacteria and other germs that can make people sick. If you are sure of the source, it should be safe. It’s always safe to consume pasteurized milk and milk products.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Tuberculosis is carried in cow milk and is eliminated through pasteurization.

When Richard Nixon was a kid, his father owned a small store in rural Whittier, California. Out back of the store the old man kept a cow which produced milk for sale to the locals. A TB epidemic occurred involving some deaths and crippling which was eventually traced to the store and the cow. It took the health authorities to finally shut the old man down because he couldn’t be convinced of the. Later, when Nixon entered California politics this came up and Nixon was able to bury it in an avalanche of anti-Communist propaganda in order to stay in the running. He was lucky that it was the McCarthy era.

And that is our little-known trivia session for today.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Raw milk is only as good as the farm and the farmer. Been there, done that. Never got sick. Our crew was pretty good, but that’s not always the case.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

In the olden days, people would die from “consumption”, which just meant TB, and it was from drinking the unpasturized milk from an infected cow. I suppose that nowadays the cows are tested for TB infection? I hope so, anyway. Personally, I wouldn’t take the chance, but I am sure that sanitation and cow health is much advanced now as to what it was.

Rarebear's avatar

^^Not really, actually. TB is a respiratory infection and is caught via respiratory means.

bea2345's avatar

I and my siblings were all weaned on goats’ milk (except for my baby sister who had problems with it and was given Lactogen instead). Goats are immume to TB. At the same time, vendors sold cows’ milk door to door. It was almost certainly not pasteurized but would have come from cows inspected by the health department. Later, milk was delivered every day by an East Indian woman, carrying the milk in a galvanized iron bucket with a cover and a dipper hanging from it. I believe that a day’s supply was about a quart and cost sixpence.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Excerpt from the Michigan Dept. of Health: “Bovine TB infection is generally transmitted to humans through consuming unpasteurized milk or milk products obtained from infected cattle,”

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

From Wikipedia: Mycobacterium bovis is a slow-growing (16— to 20-hour generation time), aerobic bacterium and the causative agent of tuberculosis in cattle (known as bovine TB). Related to M. tuberculosis—the bacterium which causes tuberculosis in humans—M. bovis can also jump the species barrier and cause tuberculosis in humans and other mammals.[2]

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Between 1912 and 1937 some 65,000 people died of tuberculosis contracted from consuming milk in England and Wales alone.

Diseases pasteurization can prevent include tuberculosis, brucellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, and Q-fever; it also kills the harmful bacteria Salmonella, Listeria, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli (E. coli), among others.

Pasteurization can be as simple as heating milk to a temperature of 100°F (38°C) for ten minutes, or in a slightly more complicated industrial process is heated to 161°F (72°C) for 15 seconds.


Paradox25's avatar

Personally I had never known anybody to get sick from raw milk or eggs. However, I’d also worked as a maintenance technician at both a dairy and egg processing plant, and I’ve worked on pasteurization equipment, so I understand the process a bit. Trust me, there are good reasons to pasteurize milk and egg products. You would not believe the amount of bacteria that lives in these raw products, but you can take a chance if you like.

Rarebear's avatar

Again, what @Paradox25 said, exactly.

Paradox25's avatar

@Rarebear I’m I dreaming, two in a row from you :)

MadMadMax's avatar

No. My kids grew up on it and I’ve bought it to help with gerd. If the cows are kept clean and free roaming, they have a very low chance of picking up the diseases inherent to our milk supply. They are fed a modified corn mixture and they can’t digest it – but e-coli builds and so the milk has to boiled – double pasteurized and it’s useless.

Free roaming cows eat only grass, move around, no e-coli.

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