You may want to avoid drinking raw milk as a new research has suggested that its consumption dramatically increases the risk for food-borne illness.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) found that the risks of drinking raw (unpasteurized) cow's milk are significant. Consumers are nearly 100 times more likely to get food-borne illness from drinking raw milk than they are from drinking pasteurized milk.
In fact, the researchers determined that raw milk was associated with over half of all milk-related food-borne illness, even though only an estimated 3.5 percent of the U.S. population consumes raw milk.
Based on their findings, the researchers discourage the consumption of raw milk, which some claim is healthier and tastes better than pasteurized milk. They note that the risks are better understood than the benefits and that further research is needed to determine whether the health benefit claims are legitimate.
Lead author Benjamin Davis said that although potential benefits related to the consumption of raw milk would benefit from further investigation, they believe that from a public health perspective it is a far safer choice to discourage the consumption of raw milk.
Co-author Cissy Li added that based on the findings, they discourage the consumption of raw milk, especially among vulnerable populations such as the elderly, people with impaired immune systems, pregnant women, and children.