Pasteurization, since its adoption in the early 1900s, has been credited with dramatically reducing illness and death caused by contaminated milk. But today, some people are passing up pasteurized milk for what they claim is tastier and healthier "raw milk."
Public health officials couldn’t disagree more.
“Drinking raw (untreated) milk or eating raw milk products is "like playing Russian roulette with your health,” says John Sheehan, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Dairy and Egg Safety. “We see a number of cases of foodborne illness every year related to the consumption of raw milk.”
More than 300 people in the United States got sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk in 2001, and nearly 200 became ill from these products in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.