Raw milk fad is udderly irresponsible, warn experts

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Raw milk fad is udderly irresponsible, warn experts

Unless produced under very strict conditions, unpasteurised milk can be a doorway to zoonotic outbreaks

Journalist

Among health-conscious and organic-loving consumers, the consumption of unpasteurised milk is becoming a growing food trend associated with health benefits, including claims that raw milk is nutrient-rich and full of natural probiotics that aid digestion. However, some health experts warn that such a shift may be a dangerous health gamble and doorway to zoonotic diseases.

Dr Jo Barnes, an epidemiologist and senior lecturer in community health at Stellenbosch University, said the consumption of unpasteurised milk and other dairy products was one of the main contributors to human brucellosis.

It is an underreported bacterial infection caused by the brucella bug, which mainly affects cattle, goats, pigs, sheep and goats. Humans generally acquire the disease through direct contact with infected animals by eating or drinking contaminated animal products, including unpasteurised milk and cheese, or by inhaling airborne agents...

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