Milk and milk products provide a wealth of nutrition benefits. It’s important for consumers to know that raw milk can potentially harbor dangerous bacteria, which can cause serious health risks to you and your family.
Is raw (unpasteurized) milk safe to drink?
No. All milk intended for direct consumption should be pasteurized — it’s a matter of food safety. Pasteurized milk provides all the nutrition of raw milk, without the risk of disease or death.
What is pasteurization?
Pasteurization is a simple, effective method to kill potentially harmful bacteria without affecting the taste or nutritional value of milk. With standard pasteurization, milk is heated to a temperature of at least 161°F for not less than 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.
Does pasteurization change milk’s nutritional benefits?
No. Pasteurization does not affect the taste or nutritional value of milk. While the heating process of pasteurization does inactivate some enzymes in milk, the enzymes in raw milk are not important in human health. Additionally, all pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D, a necessary nutrient for calcium absorption. Raw milk contains little vitamin D.