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How is milk pasteurized?

Milk and products made from milk need minimal processing, called pasteurization, which can be done by heating the milk briefly (for example, heating it to 161 degrees F for about 20 seconds). When milk is pasteurized, some bacteria remain in it, but the disease-causing ones are killed. Harmful germs usually don't change the look, taste, or smell of milk, so only when milk has been pasteurized can you be confident that these germs are not present. To ensure that milk is safe, processors rapidly cool it after pasteurization, practice sanitary handling, and store milk in clean, closed containers at 45 degrees F or below.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.