Archive for Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Drinking raw milk poses many dangers

December 19, 2007

Leavenworth County Health Department and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, want you to know the dangers of drinking raw milk.

A bacteria found in raw milk has sickened 87 Kansans. The first outbreak took place in southwest Kansas when attendees at a community celebration ate cheese made from raw milk that was donated by a local dairy.

South central Kansas was the site of the second outbreak that resulted from raw milk sold directly to consumers.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep or goats that has not been pasteurized. Pasteurization is a method that kills harmful bacteria by using high heat for a set time. Raw milk can contain toxic bacteria that may cause serious health risks to you and your family. The bacteria can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches.

Most healthy people recover from the illness within a short period of time, but some people develop symptoms that can be severe or life threatening.

Pasteurization is the only way to make milk safe for drinking. Retail stores just sell pasteurized milk.

For more information, call the Leavenworth County Health Department at (913) 250-2000.

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