Stanford Medicine Newsletter Updates For the Local Community

 

Consuming raw-milk products not worth the risk

Pregnant women, infants and young children should avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products and consume only pasteurized products, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The statement’s lead author is Yvonne Maldonado, MD, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, who said there is no scientific evidence that consuming raw milk provides any advantages over pasteurized milk and milk products. “Relative to the amount of raw-milk products on the market, we do see a disproportionately large number of diseases and illnesses from raw milk,” said Maldonado, an infectious disease expert and pediatrician at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

Whether from cows, goats or sheep, raw milk and milk products are a continuing source of bacterial infections that are especially dangerous to pregnant women, fetuses, the elderly, young children and people with compromised immune systems, the statement says.

Between 1998 and 2009, there were 93 recorded outbreaks of disease resulting from consumption of raw milk or raw-milk products, causing 1,837 illnesses, 195 hospitalizations and two deaths.

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