Raw (unpasteurized) milk whether from cows, sheep, or goats can present a health risk from bacteria such as e.coli, salmonella and listeria. These bacteria may cause food borne illness that can potentially be serious and even life threatening. When milk is pasteurized these harmful microorganisms are killed and the risk of food borne illness is eliminated as long is milk is stored properly.
A food borne illness could actually be fatal for individuals with vulnerable immune systems such as the elderly, and children. Also at increased risk are individuals whose immune systems are compromised by undergoing treatment for cancer or having undergone transplants.
Bottom Line: Pasteurized milk is a good source of nutrients. There are also plant-based beverages available as an alternative to milk. There is no need to put your health at risk by consuming something that could make you sick.For more information:
Leah McGrath, RDN, LDN
Ingles Markets Corporate Dietitian