Outbreak linked to raw milk

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — An outbreak of campylobacteriosis has been linked to the consumption of raw milk, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Twelve illnesses have been reported in Michigan and the F.D.A. said it is working with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Illinois Department of Public Health and the Indiana State Health Department to investigate the outbreak. It is believed the milk originated from Forest Grove Dairy, Middlebury, Ind.

The F.D.A. requires that all milk packaged for human consumption be pasteurized before being introduced into inter-state commerce. Regulations in various states, however, do allow for the sale of raw milk within the state.

According to the F.D.A., from 1998 to 2008, 85 outbreaks of human infections resulting from consumption of raw milk were reported to Centers for Disease and Prevention, Atlanta. The outbreaks included a total of 1,614 reported illnesses, 187 hospitalizations and 2 deaths. Because not all cases of foodborne illness are recognized and reported, the actual number of illnesses associated with raw milk likely is greater, the agency said.
Proponents of drinking raw milk often claim that raw milk is more nutritious than pasteurized milk and that raw milk is inherently antimicrobial, thus making pasteurization unnecessary.

Trade associations such as the International Dairy Foods Association counter that there is no scientific evidence to suggest there is any meaningful difference in the nutritional value of pasteurized milk and unpasteurized milk. In addition, vitamin D, which is not found in significant amounts in raw milk, is added to processed milk to make it a more nutritious product.
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