The safety and many health benefits of unpasteurized Milk


Milk - Healthy Or Not?

Dear editor,

I am writing in response to Mr Gabriel MacSharry¹s article "Milk - Healthy or not?" that was published in the Sligo Weekender on 17th June 2008.

Mr MacSharry¹s article states that unpasteurised milk from healthy cows is safe to consume. safefood wishes to point out that this advice is not based on sound scientific evidence and could have serious public health consequences.

The consumption of unpasteurised milk is an unacceptable risk to public health. For example in England & Wales, where some unpasteurised milk is still sold, 12 outbreaks of infectious diseases associated with unpasteurised milk were reported from 1992 to 1996, with 218 people affected.

safefood recommends that consumers should only consume pasteurised milk.

The sale of unpasteurized milk is prohibited on the island of Ireland as it is in many countries including Scotland, Finland and the Netherlands.

A comprehensive testing procedure for dairy cattle is in place on the island and many tests and health checks are carried out on cattle every year. However, even if cows are guaranteed to be free from TB and are perfectly healthy, there is no guarantee that the milk is free from other disease-causing germs. A cow may be healthy while also having germs that could cause human disease. As it leaves the udders of healthy animals, unpasteurized milk normally contains very low numbers of germs. After it leaves the udder however, milk may become contaminated from the surfaces of the cow, the environment or unclean milking systems.

Milk is highly nutritious and can provide good food for disease-causing germs and examples of these include E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Listeria, T.B. and Staphylococcus aureus. These bugs have all been identified in unpasteurized milk. In a safefood study conducted between 2001 and 2003, we investigated contamination of unpasteurised milk; 12% of farms tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 and 5% tested positive for Salmonella. It is important to be aware infections from E. coli O157:H7 can be very severe, leading to kidney failure and even death particularly affecting children.

Milk contains essential nutrients including protein, calcium, vitamins and water, which are required for a healthy diet and there is no difference in the nutritional value of pasteurised milk from unpasteurised milk. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me on 021 230 4102.

Yours sincerely, Dr Thomas Quigley, Director, Food Science Safefood, The Food Safety Promotion Board, 7 Eastgate Avenue, Little Island, Co. Cork


Without doubt the most concerning issue regarding unpasteurized milk is its safety. Unpasteurized milk is uniquely safe. Consider the calf, born in the muck, which then suckles on its mother’s manure-covered teat. How can that calf survive? Because unpasteurized milk contains multiple, natural redundant systems of bioactive components that can reduce or eliminate populations of pathogenic bacteria. Unpasteurized milk has a number of built-in protective systems.

Destruction of Built-In Safety Systems by Pasteurization

Unpasteurized milk contains Lactoperoxidase. Lactoperoxidase uses small amounts of H2O2 and free radicals to seek out and destroy bad bacteria(1). It is found in all mammalian secretions—breast milk, tears, saliva, etc.(1,2). Its levels are 10 times higher in goat milk than in breast milk(3). Currently other countries are looking into using lactoperoxidase instead of pasteurization to ensure safety of commercial milk as well as for preserving other foods(1,2,4,5) Unpasteurized milk contains Lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is plentiful in unpasteurized milk but its effectiveness is greatly reduced by pasteurization(6). It steals iron away from pathogens and carries it through the gut wall into the blood stream and also stimulates the immune system(6). Lactoferrin kills a wide range of pathogens, however it does not kill beneficial bacteria(7). In a study involving mice bred to be susceptible to tuberculosis, treatment with lactoferrin significantly reduced the burden of tuberculosis organisms (8) . Mice injected with Candida albicans, another iron-loving organism, had increased survival time when treated with lactoferrin(9). Lactoferrin is believed to cut visceral fat levels by as much as 40% (10) It has many other health benefits and is sold as a supplemental form in many countries. In the USA the FDA has approved it for use in an anti-microbial spray to combat E. coli O157:H7 contamination in the meat industry.(11)

Unpasteurized milk has many other bioactive components outlined in table 1

Polysaccharides which encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut and also have a protective effect on the gut wall Medium-Chain Fatty Acids which disrupt the cell walls of bad bacteria. Their levels are so high in goat milk that the test for the presence of antibiotics had to be changed.
Antibodies Antibodies which bind to foreign microbes and prevent them from migrating outside the gut. Antibodies initiate an immune response.
Leukocytes which are the basis of immunity. They will eat all foreign bacteria, yeast and molds (phagocytosis). They are destroyed at 56°C and by pumping milk. They produce H2O2 to activate the lacto-peroxidase system. They also produce anaerobic CO2 that blocks all aerobic microbes.
White Blood Cells Produce antibodies against specific bacteria
B-lymphocytes Kill foreign bacteria; call in other parts of the immune system(12,13)
Macrophages Engulf foreign proteins and bacteria(13)
Neutrophils infected cells; mobilize other parts of the immune system(12)
T-lymphocytes Multiply if bad bacteria are present; produce immune-strengthening compounds(12)
Immunoglobulins (IgM, IgA, IgG1, IgG2) Transfer of immunity from cow to calf/person in milk and especially colostrum(13) Enzymes, e.g. Complement & Lysozyme Disrupt bacterial cell walls. Complement destroyed at 56C; Lysozyme at 90°C (12,14)
Hormones & Growth Factors Stimulate maturation of gut cells; prevent “leaky” gut (12)
Mucins Adhere to bacteria and viruses, preventing those organisms from attaching to the mucosa and causing disease (12,14)
Oligosaccharides Protect other components from being destroyed by stomach acids and enzymes; bind to bacteria and prevent them from attaching to the gut lining; other functions just being discovered (12,14)
B12 Binding Protein Reduces Vitamin B12 in the colon, which harmful bacteria need for growth(12)
Bifidus Factor Promotes growth of Lactobacillus bifidus, a helpful bacteria in baby’s gut, which helps crowd out dangerous germs(12,15)
Fibronectin Increases anti-microbial activity of macrophages and helps to repair damaged tissues(12)
Glycomacropeptide Inhibits bacterial/viral adhesion, suppresses gastric secretion, and promotes bifido-bacterial growth(15)

Table 1

Table 2 shows how pasteurization destroys the above mentioned, built-in safety mechanisms that unpasteurized milk has. (12,16)

Component Breast MilkUnpasteurized MilkPasteurized MilkUHT MilkInfant Formula
IgA/IgG Antibodiesactiveactiveinactivatedinactivatedinactivated
B12 Binding Proteinactiveactiveinactivatedinactivatedinactivated
Bifidus Factoractiveactivereducedreducedreduced
Medium-Chain Fatty Acidsactiveactiveinactivatedinactivatedinactivated
Mucin A/Oligosaccharidesactiveactivereducedreducedinactivated
Hormones & Growth Factorsactiveactivereducedreducedinactivated

Table 2

Milk’s anti-microbial properties have been detailed only recently, but the destruction of protective properties was recognized as early as 1938 in studies showing that unpasteurized milk did not support the growth of a wide range of pathogens. Researchers noted that heating milk supports the growth of harmful bacteria by inactivating “inhibins” (factors that inhibit bacterial growth). (17)

Coliforms in unpasteurized milk inhibit pathogen growth

Coliforms are not the same as pathogens. They are rod-shaped bacteria found everywhere in the environment, including the gut, the feces, soil, water and plants. There are four main groups: E.coli, Kiebsiella, Enterobacter and citrobacter. Their key characteristic is to ferment lactose into lactic-acid. In a review for the Australian government (18) researchers noted “. . . Research results have shown that total coliforms may not be an appropriate bacterial indicator of fecal pollution.” “. . . Significant concentrations of coliforms in distribution systems do not represent a health risk to water consumers. ….With few exceptions, coliforms themselves are not considered to be a health risk. . … It is widely accepted that the total coliform group of bacteria is diverse and they can be considered normal inhabitants of many soil and water environments that have not been impacted by fecal pollution.”

In fact coliforms in unpasteurized milk inhibit pathogen growth. Enterococci (considered “virulent” and/or “antibiotic resistant” in hospitals) inhibit pathogens such as listeria in unpasteurized feta cheese.(19). Lactobicillus and staphylococus produce bacteriocins against Listeria Monocytogenes and are sold as commercial starters to control listeria (20). Staphylococci, Streptococci, lactobacillis and Ent. faecalis in unpasteurized human milk inhibit pathogenic Staph aureus. (21)

Paradigm shift

We really need to embrace the new scientific discoveries regarding the human body that we have learned since the implementation of milk pasteurization many years ago. The old paradigm was that the healthy human body is sterile and microbes attack it, making us sick. The current paradigm is that the healthy human body lives in symbiotic relationships with microorganisms. Arguments for pasteurization are based on a discredited medical paradigm.
Today medicine uses coliforms for many conditions. Such as reseeding of colon with fecal bacteria to combat diarrhea from overgrowth of Clostridium difficile after antibiotic treatment. Lactobacillis is used to combat rotaviruses that cause diarrhea and intestinal inflammation in children. Lactobacillis is also used to prevent Staph. aureus from colonizing wound sites. Streptococcus nasal spray is used to combat pathogens that cause otitis media (ear infections). A harmless strain of E. Coli is injected into the bladder to successfully combat urinary tract infections.

In general milk, both pasteurized and unpasteurized, has a low rate of causing food-borne illness. Table 3 shows a comparison with other foods in 1997(22)

Food No. of Outbreaks % No. of Cases %
Milk 2 0.4 23 0.2
Eggs 3 0.6 91 0.8
Chicken 9 1.8 256 2.1
Fruits/Vegetables 15 3.0 719 6.0
Salads 21 4.2 1104 9.2

Table 3 While unpasteurized milk often gets the blame for food-borne illnesses, Campylobacter is the most common cause and is best known for contaminating meats (See table 4)(24). Meats sampled for Campylobacter from 59 Washington, DC grocery stores during 1999-2000. No. of Samples % Positive Chicken 184 70.7% Turkey 172 14.5% Pork 181 1.7% Beef 182 0.5%

Table 4

Unpasteurized milk is often blamed for causing infection with Listeria Monocytogenes, a deadly food pathogen that can cause severe illness and fetal death, as well as premature birth or neonatal illness and death. A 2003 USDA/FDA report(24) found that compared to unpasteurized milk there was:

515 times more illnesses from Listeria due to deli meats
29 times more illness from Listeria due to pasteurized milk

On a per-serving basis, deli meats were ten times more likely to cause illness. For any public health protection board to imply that unpasteurized milk is inherently dangerous and should be banned from human consumption, should first deem all deli meats in Ireland to be inherently dangerous and should be banned from human consumption, and advise the public of the possible hazards of consuming deli meats.

The truth of the matter is that Listeria monocytogenes is not a problem in unpasteurized milk. In a response to a Freedom of Information request, the Centers for Disease Control in the USA provided data on unpasteurized milk outbreaks between 1993-2005—a 13-year period.
In this report(25), the CDC listed no cases of food-borne illness from unpasteurized milk caused by Listeria during the period. Recently the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has suspended sales of several dairies and issued inflammatory press releases, claiming listeria monocytogenes in the milk, however independent tests have shown no Listeria in the milk and in all cases sales were resumed. There were no illnesses. To many farmers in Pennsylvania it appeared that the PDA may have been trying to falsely build a case that Listeria is a problem in unpasteurized milk.

Unpasteurized milk safer than pasteurized milk

In effect unpasteurized milk may be safer than pasteurized because pathogens can multiply in pasteurized milk and other foods but not in unpasteurized milk. Researchers recorded Campylobacter in chilled unpasteurized milk (at 4°C) over a period of time(26):

Day 0 = 13,000,000/ml
Day 9 = less than 10/ml

And measurements of Campylobacter in body temperature unpasteurized milk (37°C) showed(27):

Bovine strains decreased by 100 cells/ml in 48 hrs.
Poultry strains decreased by 10,000 cells/ml in 48 hrs.

Note that the protective components work more quickly to reduce levels of pathogens in warm milk than in chilled milk. In challenge test to see if unpasteurized milk destroyed pathogens it was found that lactoperoxidase in unpasteurized cows milk kills added fungal and bacterial agents (28,29) and that unpasteurized goat milk kills Campylobacter jejuni (30,31) In more recent challenge tests BSK Food & Dairy Laboratories (2002) inoculated unpasteurized colostrum and unpasteurized milk samples from a dairy farm called Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno, California, with three pathogens(32). Pathogen counts declined over time and in some cases were undetectable within a week. The laboratory concluded: “Unpasteurized colostrum and unpasteurized milk do not appear to support the growth of Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 or Listeria monocytogenes.” This is quite remarkable considering E. Coli has been shown to survive on coins for 7-11 days at room temperature. Salmonella enteritidis can survive 1-9 days on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters(the American equivalent to euro coins). Salmonella enteritidis can also survive on glass and Teflon for up to 17 days.(33)

We really have to accept that there is very little foods in nature that are sterile. A common misconception until recently was that the medical profession claimed that breast milk was sterile. We now know that breast milk contains pathogens, often at very high levels (34,35). The bioactive components in milk program the baby to have immunity for life to any pathogens he comes in contact with.(36,37). Should mothers be required to pasteurize their own milk before giving it to their babies? Absolutely not, and like wise it will be seen as discrimination if the Irish laws prevent mothers from obtaining unpasteurized milk to feed their babies should their own supply be inadequate.
To highlight how pasteurization reduces the protective effects of breast milk, in 1984 a study involving high-risk premature infants had the following results (table 5)(38)

Type of Milk Rate of infection
Pasteurized human milk + formula 33.0%
Unpasteurized human milk + formula 16.0%
Pasteurized human milk 14.3%
Unpasteurized human milk 10.5%

Table 5

So pasteurizing breast milk puts infants at risk of infection. In another publication a recent outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a neonatal intensive care unit caused by a contaminated milk bank pasteurizer resulted in 31 cases of infection and 4 deaths(39). Other infectious outbreaks due to pasteurized milk are well documented (See Appendix A)

In the period from 1980-2005 the Center of Disease Control in the USA attributes 19,531 illnesses to the consumption of pasteurized milk and milk products. This is 10.7 times the number of illnesses attributed to unpasteurized milk for the same period. Unpasteurized milk represents 1% of the nations milk sales, so adjusting for bias, pasteurized milk is between 1.1 and 15.7 times more dangerous than unpasteurized milk on a per-serving basis. Since 100% of the reports cited by the FDA fail to show evidence that pasteurization would have prevented the outbreak, the risk of illness attributed to lack of pasteurization may approach zero!

To go a step further, there are 60 government-reported illnesses from unpasteurized milk per year. This number is likely to be exaggerated. There are about 500,000 unpasteurized milk drinkers in the USA. The rate of illness from unpasteurized milk can be calculated at .012%. The actual percentage is probably much lower. There are 76,000,000 cases of food-borne illness from all sources in the USA per year, for a population about 300,000,000. So the rate of illness from all foods is 25%. Thus, you are over 2000 times more likely to contract illness from other foods than from unpasteurized milk. Plus, drinking unpasteurized milk protects you against illness from other foods!

Unpasteurized milk production today

Compared to 30-50 years ago, dairy farmers today can take advantage of many advancements that contribute to a safe product:

  • Managed rotational grazing, ensures healthy cows
  • Understanding of and effective testing for all zoonoses (diseases that cross-infect from animals to humans)
  • Understanding of how water-borne pathogens get into bulk milk and control measures. Effective cleaning systems.
  • Refrigerated bulk tanks
  • Refrigerated transportation
  • Easier and inexpensive milk testing techniques

The current process of pasteurization today is now shown to be ineffective at controlling harmful heat-resistant bacteria such as the following:

  • Johne’s bacteria (paratuberculosis bacteria)– suspected of causing Crohn’s disease, now routinely found in pasteurized milk (19% of samples tested).(40)
  • B. Cereus spores, Botulism spores and Protozoan parasites survive pasteurization (41)
  • Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 survive HTST pasteurization; various Bacillus and Clostridium species may also survive pasteurization (42).
  • Dormancy of heat-treated E. Coli can cause typical laboratory culture techniques to underestimate presence of E. coli in pasteurized milk 100-fold(43).

Modern milk is shipped in tanker trucks and processed in large factories where miles of pipes ship the milk through the various high-temperature processes. These pipes must be cleaned out by various solvents and industrial cleaners—and residues invariably end up in the milk. If we moved back to consuming unpasteurized milk from local farmers with good husbandry, and away from pooling large quantities from all over the country then the consumption of milk today would be a lot more nutritious, more cost effective and safer for all.

The nutritional superiority of Unpasteurized milk over pasteurized milk

Since ancient times, an exclusive unpasteurized milk diet has been used to cure many diseases. In the early 1900s, the “Milk Cure” was used at the Mayo clinic to successfully treat cancer, weight loss, kidney disease, allergies, skin problems, urinary tract problems, prostate problems, chronic fatigue and many other chronic conditions. The Milk Cure only works with unpasteurized milk; pasteurized milk does not have these curative powers(49). In the first half of the last century there was a lot of research carried out which clearly indicated that unpasteurized milk was far superior to pasteurized milk regarding healthy, especially in children. Milk proteins are three dimensional structures which are very fragile. They carry vitamins and minerals through the gut into the blood stream, they comprise enzymes they enhance the immune system and they protect against disease. Pasteurization and ultra-pasteurization flatten (de-nature) the three-dimensional proteins, destroying their biological activity; the body thinks they are foreign proteins and mounts an immune defense. Immune attacks lead diseases such as juvenile diabetes, asthma, allergies and other disorders later in life. More and more people are unable to tolerate pasteurized milk, which is one of the top eight allergies. Some have violent reactions to it. The following conditions have been linked to milk allergy

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Frequent Ear Infections
  • Gastro-Intestinal Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Auto-Immune Disease
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Constipation

During a period of rapid population growth, the market for fluid pasteurized milk has declined at 1% per year for the past 20 years. Fewer and fewer consumers can tolerate pasteurized (and ultrapasteurized) milk.

Asthma crises

A good example here is the Asthma crises. According to the CDC in the USA, asthma is the second most prevalent chronic condition among children(44). It results in approximately 14 million days of missed school each year. Asthma in children increased from 3.6% in 1980 to 7.5% in 1995, or approximately 5 million children. Here in Ireland the condition affects as many as four hundred thousand people in this country alone, and Ireland has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the world. What if we could prevent most of these cases through something as simple as offering unpasteurized milk in childhood?

Asthma & Unpasteurized Milk

Research published in the Lancet in 2001 looked at exposure to farming in early life and development of asthma and allergy: a cross-sectional survey. In summery It was concluded that long-term and early-life exposure to stables and [unpasteurized ] farm milk induces a strong protective effect against development of asthma, hay fever, and atopic sensitization [rashes, eczema etc](45). In another study researchers in London concluded that children who even infrequently drank unpasteurized milk had significantly less current eczema symptoms and a greater reduction in atopy (allergic hypersensitivity comprising of the most problematic childhood diseases)(46).

In a study of 14,893 children aged 5-13, consumption of unpasteurized milk was the strongest factor in reducing the risk of asthma and allergy, whether the children lived on a farm or not. The benefits were greatest when consumption of unpasturised milk began during the first year of life (47).

In fact if we look at the relative risk of Asthma & Foodborne Illness, we find that about 5,500 people in the USA die from asthma each year. About 1250 people in the USA die from food-borne pathogens from all sources. (No deaths from unpasteurized milk). Thus, the risk of dying from asthma is over 4 times greater than the risk of dying from food-borne pathogens from all sources, and infinitely greater than the risk of dying from unpasteurized milk. A strong reason to consider promoting the availability of unpasteurized milk.

Some people find it hard to digest pasteurized milk. Unpasteurized milk can actually digest itself and is a lot easier for people to assimilate. The enzymes in unpasteurized milk, when activated by the appropriate pH of the digestive tract, become activated and digest all the components in the milk. The body’s digestive apparatus does not need to do any work to digest unpasteurized milk. This is a major reason unpasteurized milk has such extraordinary healing and energizing powers. Pasteurized milk puts a huge burden on the digestive apparatus and for many is impossible to digest.

Lactose Intolerance

A difficulty digesting milk sugar. Results from a survey by Opinion Research Corporation (commissioned by the Weston A. Price Foundation, USA) indicate that about 29 million Americans are diagnosed lactose intolerant. Results from a private survey carried out in Michigan indicate that 85 percent of those diagnosed as lactose intolerant can drink unpasteurized milk without problem. Thus, almost 25 million Americans diagnosed as lactose intolerant could benefit from unpasteurized milk. How many in Ireland could benefit?

Casein Intolerance

A difficulty digesting milk protein. Milk allergy is usually attributed to casein intolerance. Pasteurization destroys L. lactis and other lactic-acid bacteria indigenous to milk. These bacteria produce enzymes that break down the casein molecule(48). These findings suggest that unpasteurized milk could be consumed by those with milk allergy, including autistic children. There currently exists some anecdotal evidence indicating that unpasteurized milk can be used to treat and even completely reverse symptoms of autism.

There is a lot more en vivo animal evidence indicating the immense health benefits of unpasteurized milk over pasteurized milk.


In conclusion id like to reiterate my opinion that unpasteurized milk form healthy cows is safe to consume. As to possible cross contamination on the farm, that’s all addresses by good husbandry. Through history if milk had been hazardous to the individuals and communities that consumed it, the drinking of milk would have disappeared centuries ago. I think that safefood’s position that my opinion is not based on sound scientific evidence has clearly been dispelled here. Id like to point out that Dr Quigley statement “there is no difference in the nutritional value of pasteurised milk from unpasteurised milk” is not based on sound scientific evidence. Id also like to point out that Dr Quigley’s quote regarding Irish law “The sale of unpasteurized milk is prohibited on the island of Ireland” is incorrect, when in fact there is currently no legal impediment to the sale of unpasteurized milk provided it meets the requirements of EU regulation 853/2004 and in particular Annex 111, Section IX: “UNPASTEURIZED MILK, COLOSTRUM, DAIRY PRODUCTS, COLOSTRUM and COLOSTRUM-BASED PRODUCTS”

I feel privileged to live in a country where there are organisations such as safefood that police the food chain in the interest of public safety, but I also believe that it is important that these organisations get their facts right because their advice could create public confusion and fear, and indirectly do more harm than good.

Le gach dea-ghui
Is me agat

Gabriel MacSharry B.Sc, B.Herb.Med, MIIMH


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      Appendix A

      • 1976—1 outbreak Y. enterocolitica in 36 children, 16 of whom had appendectomies, due to pasteurized chocolate milk(1)
      • 1982—Over 17,000 cases Y. enterocolitica in several states from milk produced in Memphis, TN(2)
      • 1983—1 outbreak, 49 cases, 14 deaths from L. monocytogenes in MA(3)
      • 1984-85—3 outbreaks of antimicrobial-resistant S. typhimurium, at plant in Melrose Park IL.The third wave had 16,284 confirmed cases; surveys indicated as many as 197,581 persons may have been affected(4)
      • 1985—1,500+ cases, Salmonella culture confirmed, in Northern IL(5)
      • 1993-94—1 outbreak, 2014 cases/142 confirmed S. enteritidis due to pasteurized ice cream in MN, SD, WI(6)
      • 1995—Outbreak of Yersinia enterocolitica in 10 children, 3 hospitalized due to post-pasteurization contamination(7)
      • 2000—1 outbreak, 98 cases/38 confirmed S. typhimurim in PA and NJ(7)
      • 2005—1 outbreak, 200 cases C. jejuni in CO prison(9)
      • 2006—1 outbreak, 1592 cases/52 confirmed C. jejuni infections in CA(10)
      • 2007—1 outbreak, 3 deaths from L. monocytogenes in MA.(11)

      Full Citations:
      • 1. (1976) Black, R.E.; Jackson, R.J.; et al; “Epidemic Yersinia enterocolitica infection due to contaminated chocolate milk,” New England Journal of Medicine, January 12, 1978; 298(2):76-79. Milk was purchased in school cafeterias; investigation suggested that the bacterium was introduced at the dairy during the mixing by hand of chocolate syrup with previously pasteurized milk.
      • 2. (1982) Segal, Marian; “Invisible villains; tiny microbes are biggest food hazard,” FDA Consumer, JUL-AUG 1988.
      • 3. (1983) Fleming, D.W.; Cochi, S.L.; et al; “Pasteurized milk as a vehicle of infection in an outbreak of listeriosis,” New England Journal of Medicine, 1985 FEB 14; 312(7):404-407.
      • 4. (1984-1985) Ryan, C. A.; Nickels, M. K.; et al; “Massive outbreak of antimicrobial-resistant salmonellosis traced to pasteurized milk,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 1987;258:3269-74. Two surveys to determine the number of persons who were actually affected yielded estimates of 168,791 and 197,581 persons, making this the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever identified in the United States. Details of three outbreaks: 1984-AUG, 1 outbreak of S. typhimurium, ~200 cases 1984-NOV, 1 outbreak S. typhimurium, 1985-MAR, 1 outbreak S. typhimurium, 16,284 confirmed cases
      • 5. (1985) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Milk-Borne Salmonellosis—Illinois,” Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 1985 APR 12; 34(14):200.
      • 6. (1993-1994) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis Associated with Nationally Distributed Ice Cream Products--Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, 1994,” Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 1994 OCT 14; 43(40).; accessed 28 May 2007
      • 7. (1995) New Zealand PDF: which mentions “10 cases, 3 hospitalised, 1 appendectomy. Control measure failure: post pasteurisation contamination.” US reference is Robbins-Browne, R. (1997) Yersinia enterocolitica. In Food Microbiology: fundamentals and frontiers, (Eds) Doyle, M.P., Beuchat, L.R. and Montville, T.D. pp192-215. ASM Press, Washington, D.C., USA.
      • 8. (2000) Olsen, Sonja J.; Ying, Michelle; et al; “Multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium infection from milk contaminated after pasteurization,” Emerging Infectious Diseases [serial on the Internet], 2004 MAY; available at, accessed 28-May-2007.
      • 9. CDC 2005 Summary Statistics, Also mentioned briefly in State of Colorado Laboratory Services Division 2005-2006 Annual Report, page 17, (“The Environmental Microbiology Laboratory recovered Campylobacter from milk samples in the Colorado prison system.”)
      • 10. (2006) Yuan, Jean W.; Jay, M.T.; et al, “Campylobacteriosis Outbreak Associated with Pasteurized Milk — California, May 2006,” Epidemic Intelligence Service Conference 2007 (CDC), 2007 APR 16; page 62. Available at, accessed 28-May-2007. This was a paper presented at a conference.
      • 11. Associated Press, January 8, 2008

      I would like to acknowledge the Weston A Price Foundation as a very informative resource on unpasteurized milk.

      In Health,

Call Clinic on +353 (07191) 42940