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Why should I drink pasteurized milk?

Milk and products made from milk (including certain cheeses, ice cream, and yogurt) are foods that, when consumed raw, can pose severe health risks. 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) to kill disease-causing germs (e.g., Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Campylobacter) that can be found in raw milk (unpasteurized milk).

Before the invention and acceptance of pasteurization, raw milk was a common source of the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, diphtheria, severe streptococcal infections, typhoid fever, and other foodborne illnesses. These illnesses killed many people each year, especially young children. In the 1900s many mothers recognized this risk and would boil milk (bringing it to a temperature of 212 degrees F) before giving it to their infants and young children.

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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.