Sunday, March 25, 2012

Foodie Facts about Dairy Food Safety

Dairy foods are the safest and most regulated foods available due to proper milking procedures,animal care, and pasteurization. For over 100 years, pasteurization has been the key to providing safe,nutrient-rich milk and cheese. During pasteurization, the temperature of milk is raised to 145 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or to at least 161 degrees Fahrenehit for more than 15 seconds and then rapidly cooled. Pasteurization kills any harmful pathogens that are found in raw milk.

According to the Raw Milk Fact Sheet provided by Midwest Dairy, here are some proven facts about milk and pasteurization:
  • Pasteurization DOES kill harmful bacteria.
  • Pasteurization DOES save lives.
  • Raw milk DOES NOT kill dangerous pathogens by itself.
  • Pasteurizing milk DOES NOT cause lactose intolerance and allergic reactions.
  • Both raw milk and pasteurized milk can cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to milk proteins.
  • Pasteurization DOES NOT reduce milk's nutritional value.
  • The American Medical Associaton and the American Academy of Pediatrics endorse the importance of pasteurization and warn against raw milk consumption especially for children,pregnant women,the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
Even though it is a violation of federal law to sell raw milk for consumer use across state lines, raw milk regulations vary by state and some states allow the sale of raw milk within their borders. Arkansas does not allow raw milk sales in the state.

The Food and Drug Administration advises consumers to avoid raw milk and offers these tips when buying milk or milk products:
  • Read the label on milk or milk products before you buy them. Many companies put the word "pasteurized" right on the label, but it is not required by law.
  • Ask store employees if specific brands are pasteurized.
  • At farm stands or farmers' markets, ask if the milk and cream being sold have been pasteurized. If the market sells yogurt,ice cream or cheese, as if they were made with pasteurized milk.
You can find more information about dairy food safety and the benefits of milk pasteurization at Dairy farmers and the dairy industry overall have a history of providing safe and healthy products.  It's a fact---consuming pasteurized milk is a matter of food safety.

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