In the interest of living healthier, more natural lives, many Americans are turning to locally grown foods or foods which have not been commercially processed. In many cases, this is not a harmful choice. But a new study from the CDC shows that more and more Americans are becoming seriously ill after drinking raw milk.
As reported by Time Magazine online, “raw” milk is milk which has not been pasteurized or homogenized—essentially, raw milk is milk straight from the cow. Though many Americans believe this is a healthier way to drink milk, the CDC warns that raw milk is “nothing more than a misguided health trend.” In fact, according to both the CDC and the FDA, the pasteurization process does not remove any of milk’s health benefits but rather kills harmful bacteria.
Forms of food poisoning which have been attributed to raw milk include E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. While these illnesses may not be fatal to most, they do create some very uncomfortable and serious symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, fever, headache, and flu-like symptoms. In elderly or very young individuals or in people who are pregnant or immune-compromised, food poisoning can be fatal.
According to the recent CDC report, there have been at least 81 outbreaks of raw milk food poisoning across 26 states from 2007 to 2012. Roughly 1,000 people reported raw milk food poisoning during those years, and 73 of those individuals were hospitalized.
Though interstate distribution or sale of raw milk was banned by the FDA in 1987, states are able to regulate the sale of raw milk within state borders. Right now, 30 states allow raw milk to be sold. Not surprisingly, more than 80% of the cases of raw milk food poisoningreported to the CDC occurred in states where sale of raw milk is legal
“As states continue to legalize raw milk, I would expect it’s likely we will see more outbreaks and illnesses associated with it,” says Hannah Gould, a CDC epidemiologist. “When we see something happening like this huge increase in the number of outbreaks caused by raw milk, we try to put out the message that this going on, and provide that information to state legislators trying to make decisions about raw milk as well as alert consumers to the risks.”
Food poisoning is a serious issue, and thousands of Americans become ill as a result of eating food that is contaminated every year. In many cases, unsafe food storage or preparation is the cause. If you suffered from food poisoning, you could be entitled to compensation from the parties responsible for serving or selling you unsafe food. For more information on food poisoning lawsuits, contact a personal injury lawyer for a free legal consultation.