by Marion Nestle
Jul 26 2010

Food safety: what about Pasteurized milk?

Taking about raw milk stirs up a can of worms, with plenty of ideology governing opinions on all sides.  My posting of Bill Marler’s list of recent raw milk outbreaks a couple of days ago elicited much heat and one appropriate question: How do raw milk outbreaks compare to outbreaks from Pasteurized milk.

People must be asking Marler the same question, because he has just answered it.   Outbreaks from pasteurized milk products do occur, but they are rare, especially because far more people drink Pasteurized than raw milk.    Here is his summary table.  He puts the supporting documentation on the real raw milk facts website.

And here is the CDC’s Q and A on raw milk.

My view: yes, people should have the right to drink raw milk if they want to, but they need to know—and take responsibility for—the risks.  And everyone who produces raw milk should use a HACCP (preventive control) plan and stick to it in letter and in spirit.

Addition: I’ve just been sent links to three Los Angeles Times stories about a raid (with drawn guns, yet) on a Venice grocery store selling raw milk.  A long piece explains what this is about and includes a video of the raid.  A third story talks about the debates about raw milk, also with a video.