Do you like the rich flavor and creaminess of raw milk? Well, of course, you do. Given that fat content in raw milk is more than the pasteurized milk, the above point makes total sense!
But when it comes to safety and protection from bacterial infections, the boiled milk takes away the trophy. An old-time logic given in favor of raw milk is that it has more nutrients intact which are supposedly lessened when the liquid is boiled.
It cannot be more untrue. Research says boiled milk does lose some of the nutrients when heated at a high temperature for more than 15 minutes. Nonetheless, the more vital nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamins, remain unaffected.
All in all, the benefits of pasteurized milk outweigh the flavors and nutritional value of raw milk. Let’s find out the most significant risks associated with drinking raw milk.
Raw Milk: Risks and Symptoms
Raw milk poses the biggest threat of bacterial infections. Here are some of the most common bacteria that can infect a person drinking unpasteurized milk products.
- coli Infection
Most of us would think E. coli (Escherichia coli) to be a harmless bacteria as it is naturally found in our intestines. But when it comes to raw milk, there’s a particular strain of E. coli which can cause considerable damage to our health.
A person infected with E. coli may show the following signs:
- Stomach cramps
The signs may show up for a few days to little more than a week, depending upon the intensity of infection.
Staphylococcus is another infection-causing bacteria but with milder symptoms. Raw milk that has Staphylococcus bacteria is likely to make a person sick within a few hours.
Following symptoms come along with Staphylococcus.
- Loose motion
However, the symptoms subside within a week.
Salmonella is a widely known culprit that is found in unpasteurized milk. Within a few hours of drinking the milk, the bacterial infection begins to work its way in the human body.
Possible signs may consist of:
- Loose motion
This is the red-alert for pregnant women. Apart from disrupting the natural immune system of the body, Listeria is capable of causing miscarriages, still-birth, and premature delivery.
The symptoms include:
- Premature delivery
Special Health Conditions That are Most at Risk!
The bacterial infections caused by drinking raw milk are far more prevalent in people with certain health conditions. A weaker immunity system allows natural permeability of microorganisms while serving as the optimum breeding ground to them.
It’s because of their undeveloped immune system that the infants and kids would fall sick much soon after drinking the contaminated raw milk. But the risks are not limited to young ones. Old-aged people, women who are pregnant, people who are suffering from immune-deficiency diseases, such as AIDS, bear the equal grunt of raw milk infections.
What to Avoid?
Apart from the infectious raw milk, dairy products prepared with this milk are dangerous too. For instance, a portion of cheese, yogurt, and desserts like ice creams made from raw milk put us at higher risk of catching the infection. So, it is better to avoid such products at all costs.
Pasteurization is the Answer!
Now that the causes and symptoms of contaminated raw milk have been discussed, one might wonder if there’s any way to stay safe without quitting the dairy products!
Fortunately, there is a straightforward and effective solution to protect your loved ones and yourself from falling victim to the raw milk infections. It is called the pasteurization method.
Pasteurization is a process in which the milk is boiled at high-temperature for a sufficiently long time. This duration ranges somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes which is enough to kill all the pathogens present in the milk.
Benefits of Pasteurization
The biggest advantage is that pasteurization is a non-toxic process. It involves simple boiling of milk at a specific temperature and for a certain time. Thus, it is safer and instead preferred over the use of toxic drugs which are used to kill the microorganisms.
The Ultimate Take Away!
Basically, it all comes down to this. Raw milk has less to offer when compared to the risks it poses to human health. Some of the bacterial infections could be life-threatening. Thus, as much as possible, it is suggested to keep away from the raw milk and dairy products made from it. Pasteurized packaged or non-packaged milk is healthier and more suitable for our consumption.