The importance of pasteurization
Milk is as natural as it gets. It only contains three ingredients: milk, vitamin A and vitamin D. However, just like many foods from nature, safety is something we should all pay attention to. Farmers want you to enjoy fresh milk, and they understand that pasteurization is an important step in keeping your food safe. Pasteurization only makes milk safer. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it doesn’t reduce milk’s nutritional value or make it any less natural.
The power of pasteurization
Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to destroy potentially harmful pathogens. It is purely physical, and nothing is added to the milk. Just like cooking raw meat, this important step in the food safety system goes a long way in protecting people from dangerous food borne illnesses. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avoiding raw milk because it can cause food poisoning.
Illness from raw milk
Recent trends in selling raw milk over the past few years have led to more than 80 outbreaks of food borne illnesses, including listeria, salmonella and E. coli, causing thousands of people to get sick or die. Some people are more likely to get sick from raw milk than others. Fifty-nine percent of outbreaks in the last five years included at least one child under five years old.
Nutrition of raw milk vs. pasteurized milk
Heating the milk for pasteurization destroys harmful pathogens, while many of milk’s nutritional benefits such as vitamin A, vitamin D and protein remain. Some enzymes are inactivated during pasteurization, but they are not important for human health. Any other nutrients reduced in pasteurized milk are frequently found in other foods.