Unpasteurized milk and its byproducts, such as cheese and yogurt, can carry a range of germs, including the bacteria E. coli O157:H7. Pasteurization kills those organisms by heating fluids such as wine, beer, and milk to 132 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, raw food advocates and health food proponents encourage the consumption of raw milk, claiming the health benefits of unpasteurized milk that can be destroyed through pasteurization.
Boca Raton Pediatrician Dr. Adam Cutler agrees with the American Council on Science and Health, saying that if any parents choose to go outside of established health protocols to give raw milk to themselves as well as their children, “then they’re taking risks into their own hands.”
Human illnesses that have been caused by consumption of raw milk and cheese made from raw milk include fever, Salmonella dublin infection, staphylococcal food poisoning, brucellosis, campylobacter infection, salmonellosis, C. ulcerans sore throat, and listeriosis. Adverse pregnancy outcomes, including miscarriages, fetal infections, and death have been associated with these illnesses, says the Florida Registry of Birth Defects.