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Food Safety Network Blog

Friday, August 11, 2006

The unvarnished (and unpasteurized) truth

11.aug.06, Dr. Douglas Powell, Commentary from the Food Safety Network

In May, 1943, Edsel Bryant Ford, son of auto magnate Henry Ford, died at the age of 49 in Detroit, of what some claimed was a broken heart.

Biology, however, decreed that Ford died of undulant fever, apparently brought on by drinking unpasteurized milk from the Ford dairy herd, at the behest of his father's mistaken belief that all things natural must be good.

Sixty years later, raw, unpasteurized milk is gaining in popularity for many of the same reasons as the broader organic and natural foods movement: some people think it's healthier, some people think it tastes better, and for some people it's part of their religion.
And some people get sick.

In June, more than 58 people in Wisconsin became ill after eating unpasteurized cheese curds contaminated with Campylobacter jejuni. The same bacteria sickened five people in Colorado in January after they drank raw milk from a dairy in Larimer County, Colo. In Dec. 2005, the Pima County Health Department in Arizona reported salmonella contamination in unpasteurized, raw milk produced by Colorado City's Meadowayne Dairy. The milk was sold at several natural and health food stores in the Tucson area. Earlier last year the New York State health department warned against consumption of some imported Mexican cheeses made from unpasteurized milk after identifying 35 cases from 2001 to 2004, including one infant death in 2004, attributed to Mycobacterium bovis, a form of TB found in cattle.

The rest of this story can be found at this location.