Purdue Extension Says Raw Milk Safety Limited by Shelf Life
Food Safety News
By Dan Flynn
In almost every debate about unpasteurized milk, an advocate of its safety recalls growing up on the farm when everybody drank raw milk and nobody got sick.
The Purdue University Extension Service has an answer to that debate point. In its new “Raw Milk FAQs,” Purdue Extension points out that “raw milk tends to be consumed more quickly on the farm and therefore provides less incubation time for bacteria.”
But commercial sales of raw milk—currently banned by law in Indiana—put a lot more time between the udder and the lips of consumers. More time is needed for processing, packaging, transportation and shelving raw milk to get it from the farm to urban consumers. And therein lies the increased risk.
“It is possible that repeated exposure to low levels of some bacteria may build immunological resistance,” says Purdue Extension. “but a sudden occurrence of new pathogenic bacteria may still result in disease, especially during times of reduced immunological health.”
Purdue University, which will pick up Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels as its new President in January, published “Raw Milk FAQs” in November, ahead of the Dec. 1 deadline for the Indiana Board of Animal Health’s report to the Hoosier General Assembly and incoming Gov. Mike Pence.
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