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Has anyone here actually gotten sick from raw milk?


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I'm buying the first couple of gallons this week after finding the research on Horizon and some of the other companies. The dairy we're getting it from looks very good and I know people who have been buying from them for a while. I'm still a little nervous and wondered how many people here have had problems. :confused:

Edited by BeckyFL
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We drank raw milk for a year (about a gallon a week, we're not huge milk drinkers) and never had any issues here. That said, I can't tolerate raw milk for some reason- it causes me horrific digestive upset :(. I'm okay with regular milk (although we don't buy/drink it) but can't seem to do the raw so we had to stop. That's the only "sick" that we had to deal with around here.

 

Enjoy! Raw milk is so yummy!!

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We have been drinking raw milk for a couple of years and never had a problem. Raw milk is actually more resistant to "bad" bacteria than pasteurized milk.

 

I second the cooler and ice packs, though. It goes sour (not bad, just sour) more quickly if it doesn't stay really cold. You can use the sour milk for cooking, but it is not really tasty to drink.

 

This site has many helpful links on raw milk:

ttp://www.farmtoconsumer.org/raw-milk.html

 

 

Sandra

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We milk one dairy goat and drink it raw; no problems that I can tell. Goat's milk tastes even better than cow milk!!

 

Have to dry her off in the next couple weeks to give her a break before babies come, though. Not sure what we'll do.

 

Slightly off topic, what did you (OP) read about Horizon)?

 

I researched it after ds complained about the taste and didn't like what I found. You can check it out in this thread....

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=244162&highlight=organic+milk

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We have been drinking it for a few years to no ill effect. However, I don't ever serve it to people without telling them. My sister is pregnant and I won't give it to her. I had some friends who did not want me giving it to their kids and I respected their wishes. After all this time, even those folks have relaxed and allow me give to it to their kids. It is so obvious that there is not problem.

 

That said, I know my supplier. The family was in the commercial milk business for decades and they know what they are doing. They made a decision to leave the industrial/organic milk business and set up a herdshare program. I trust them. If a friend bought a cow and wanted to try raw milk, I think I would give them a few years to learn the ropes of dairy management. Don't laugh, I have a couple friends who would do just that, thinking it is 'cool' to have a cow. I also wouldn't buy from someone who didn't have a commitment to raw/organic milk. If it was just a farmer who was happy to sell to crazy hippies to get a little extra money, I would pass.

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Thanks, Becky! I'll check it out.

 

I agree not to serve it w/o telling kids/parents. I let parents know that's what we have, and none of them object. Some kids want to try it and love it, some don't like it, and some don't want to try it. I don't sell it to anyone, although I have given cheese away and have had several offers. One bitty goat doesn't make enough to sell, and that's not why we do it.

 

I follow very strict hygiene for milking, both for the health of my doe and the health of my family!

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We have been drinking it for a few years to no ill effect. However, I don't ever serve it to people without telling them. My sister is pregnant and I won't give it to her. I had some friends who did not want me giving it to their kids and I respected their wishes. After all this time, even those folks have relaxed and allow me give to it to their kids. It is so obvious that there is not problem.

 

That said, I know my supplier. The family was in the commercial milk business for decades and they know what they are doing. They made a decision to leave the industrial/organic milk business and set up a herdshare program. I trust them. If a friend bought a cow and wanted to try raw milk, I think I would give them a few years to learn the ropes of dairy management. Don't laugh, I have a couple friends who would do just that, thinking it is 'cool' to have a cow. I also wouldn't buy from someone who didn't have a commitment to raw/organic milk. If it was just a farmer who was happy to sell to crazy hippies to get a little extra money, I would pass.

 

Well, we all have to start somewhere and our customers are very thankful to have a local supply. I won't comment any further...

 

OP, you can watch these videos to get a good idea of how a raw milk dairy should operate regarding processing, handling, etc.

 

http://www.farmtoconsumerfoundation.org/fsr/

 

We are members of the Farm to Consumer Foundation and they are wonderful raw milk advocates/lobbyists and have provided us with invaluable legal advice and help setting up our farm/herdshares.

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And, the great thing about buying raw, local milk is that you CAN visit your farmer's facilities and see how the cows are cared for, kept, milked, and the how the milk is handled post milking. When you're buying from commercial sellers you have no idea. Many, many people have gotten ill and/or lost their lives due to commercial milk being tainted with salmonella or other pathogens.

 

Older article, I didn't want to keep searching allthe Google search results

 

An outbreak of salmonella has been linked to two deaths and has caused illness among nearly 3,000 people in five states, most of them in Illinois.
http://www.nytimes.com/1985/04/11/us/midwest-salmonella-cases-force-dairy-to-halt-work.html Edited by JENinOR
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The raw milk suppliers I know are vey,very strict with hygiene- their reputation depends on no one getting sick.

 

One possibility is that if you take your own containers, or, you transfer the milk to your own containers when you get home- they might not be sterilised and that is a possible source of contamination. The supplier I used for a couple of years told me about another supplier who used a truck and poured the milk into people's containers that they brought themselves- and she said she woudl never do that.

 

Pasteurised milk also occasionally has cases of contamination.

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We've been drinking raw milk for over four years, from three different farms, and none of us have ever been sick from it. (In fact, we've been healthier in the past four years than ever before, but that's beside the point.) I drank it when I was pregnant with DS2 and am still drinking it during this pregnancy -- so far, no problems.

 

I do like to let people know that the milk is raw if they're visiting though, because I feel that they should be able to make their own choices. I personally feel that it's as safe as, or safer than, pasteurized milk, but I think that risk is up to the individual consumer.

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I wouldn't touch it. :001_unsure:

 

Raw or unpasteurized milk has not been treated with heat to pasteurize the milk and can have bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, have been found in raw or unpasteurized milk. These bacteria can cause foodborne illness and can lead to very serious conditions from fever, vomiting, and diarrhea to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and death.

 

However, any possible benefits are far outweighed by the serious risk of illness from drinking raw milk. Pasteurization is an extremely important process in order to make sure that the milk Canadians drink is safe. The number of foodborne diseases from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization of milk was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991.

 

Some quotes from Health Canada

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Nope. We've been drinking it for 3 years with raw milk (there was a 6 mo interruption once in our supply).

 

Interestingly we experienced fewer colds and illnesses when we're drinking raw milk exclusively. That 6 month interruption was horrid and we fought colds and the flu from Jan - March.

 

It's Feb. and we're just getting our first winter colds here. And they're not very severe. Just miserable.

 

Our experiences is that we stay healthier overall when we've got raw milk to drink.

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my roomates did in college. I hadn't had any to drink that day-but they all did. The automatic tank washer for the bulk tank malfunctioned way in the back of the tank and wasn't noticed till the milk co. called and let them know the somatic cell count was high...too late-the milk was already consumed at home. Now they did dump the tanker of milk and it did not get into the food supply...

 

I grew up on a dairy farm and drank it all of the time....but I wouldn't buy it from someone else.

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We've been drinking raw milk for 7 plus years from 3 different sources and have never gotten sick or known anyone who has. We've owned and operated our own raw milk dairy for almost a year and a half (we have 5 jerseys) and no one has ever been sick, nor will they ever be. :001_smile:

 

Can you PM me with your location? We are searching for milk; I know it's out there but hard to find!! Thanks! :)

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We drank raw milk for a year (about a gallon a week, we're not huge milk drinkers) and never had any issues here. That said, I can't tolerate raw milk for some reason- it causes me horrific digestive upset :(.

 

I thought I was the only person that happened to!!! Every raw milk advocate I know looks at me like I have two heads when I say that, but it was true. I stopped buying it after that, because we're just not big milk drinkers in general, and it was too much of a hassle to be buying separate products for me.

 

But no, we drank it for a few years and know lots of people who buy raw milk and its associated products through our co-op and have for many years, I've never heard of anyone getting sick.

 

I do think the risk of contracting something is higher than with pasteurized milk, but I really think there's so little nutritional value left after pasteurization that there's almost no point to drinking it. I also think you can get sick from just about anything you buy and eat. There was a HUGE lettuce recall recently that included a box of organic mix that I had just bought. Thankfully, I left the box in the downstairs fridge and it froze (stupid wonky thing). I was so upset about the waste until I read about the recall the next day! There have been chicken recalls for contamination, ground beef, produce, canned and boxed products...IMO, you take a risk whenever you eat something you didn't grow/raise yourself.

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I wouldn't touch it. :001_unsure:

 

Raw or unpasteurized milk has not been treated with heat to pasteurize the milk and can have bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, have been found in raw or unpasteurized milk. These bacteria can cause foodborne illness and can lead to very serious conditions from fever, vomiting, and diarrhea to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and death.

 

However, any possible benefits are far outweighed by the serious risk of illness from drinking raw milk. Pasteurization is an extremely important process in order to make sure that the milk Canadians drink is safe. The number of foodborne diseases from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization of milk was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991.

 

Some quotes from Health Canada

 

IMO, testing for things such as Tuberculosis and cleanliness (Bleach, iodine, etc.) rather than pasteurization are what are extremely important to ensure safe milk. Which is why so many people get sick from pasteurized every. single. year.

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I grew up on a dairy farm-yeah, nothing like milking cows for two hours before/after going to school:glare:-we all drank raw milk and never had a problem that I remember. Of course, we did make sure the cows stayed out of the wild onions-now that we wouldn't drink :ack2:

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I grew up drinking raw milk and no one in my family ever got sick. I buy raw milk now and I drink it raw but I home pasteurize the milk that I give my kids. Their bodies are really little and I just prefer to be cautious.

 

I would also never even offer the milk I pasteurize to other children in my home unless their parents knew and agreed that it was fine for them.

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We drink it, and honestly almost all my friends do as well, and none of us have had any problems.

 

For those who had problems with raw milk upsetting your stomachs - I have an acquaintance whose DH cannot drink any milk because of severe digestive upset, but he tried the raw milk from the dairy I frequent and was able to digest it. Our farmer has mostly Holstein and Holstein crosses. The other raw milk in our area is mostly Jersey or Jersey crosses so the only thing we can figure is that the breed of the cow affects his ability to digest it.

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I wouldn't touch it. :001_unsure:

 

Raw or unpasteurized milk has not been treated with heat to pasteurize the milk and can have bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, have been found in raw or unpasteurized milk. These bacteria can cause foodborne illness and can lead to very serious conditions from fever, vomiting, and diarrhea to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and death.

 

However, any possible benefits are far outweighed by the serious risk of illness from drinking raw milk. Pasteurization is an extremely important process in order to make sure that the milk Canadians drink is safe. The number of foodborne diseases from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization of milk was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991.

 

Some quotes from Health Canada

My family has been dairy farmers for many generations, and have always drank the raw milk. Interestingly, when my mom was studying biology at a catholic college, one of the nuns asked my mother to bring in some raw milk, so that they could culture both the raw and pasterurized samples. They found the raw milk from my grandparents farm was cleaner than the paterurized from the store. Pasteruization is really about shelf life and shipping longer distances. If milk is handled correctly, it doesn't need to be pasteurized. I now live in NJ. You can't even buy it here. :crying:

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I wouldn't touch it. :001_unsure:

 

Raw or unpasteurized milk has not been treated with heat to pasteurize the milk and can have bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, have been found in raw or unpasteurized milk. These bacteria can cause foodborne illness and can lead to very serious conditions from fever, vomiting, and diarrhea to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and death.

 

However, any possible benefits are far outweighed by the serious risk of illness from drinking raw milk. Pasteurization is an extremely important process in order to make sure that the milk Canadians drink is safe. The number of foodborne diseases from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization of milk was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991.

 

Some quotes from Health Canada

 

My husband works in the dairy industry. Simply because milk is pasteurized does not mean these things are no longer existing in it.

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Not me personally, but a friend did. He was very ill and unfortunately the doctor didn't think of that right away, nor did the friend (they don't normally drink raw milk, but had it at another friend's).

 

I know that if the person handling/selling the raw milk is very strict on following proper procedure that the chances of having a problem are slim, but there is still a chance. I see no benefit from drinking raw milk.

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My family has been dairy farmers for many generations, and have always drank the raw milk. Interestingly, when my mom was studying biology at a catholic college, one of the nuns asked my mother to bring in some raw milk, so that they could culture both the raw and pasterurized samples. They found the raw milk from my grandparents farm was cleaner than the paterurized from the store. Pasteruization is really about shelf life and shipping longer distances. If milk is handled correctly, it doesn't need to be pasteurized. I now live in NJ. You can't even buy it here. :crying:

 

Yet!!! There's legislation before the state right now, and some of the passionate raw milk advocates in my HSing circles have been giving testimony during hearings. I know lots of people are working hard to get the bill passed.

 

http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2011/02/raw_milk_could_be_sold_in_new.html

Edited by melissel
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We drank raw milk for a year (about a gallon a week, we're not huge milk drinkers) and never had any issues here. That said, I can't tolerate raw milk for some reason- it causes me horrific digestive upset :(. I'm okay with regular milk (although we don't buy/drink it) but can't seem to do the raw so we had to stop. That's the only "sick" that we had to deal with around here.

 

Enjoy! Raw milk is so yummy!!

 

Maybe you were allergic to something the cows were eating? Have you ever tried raw goats milk? That may be a better fit for you if you can find some.

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It all boils down to cleanliness. That has to be the top priority in order for the milk to be good. Dairies often have lots of rules and regulations to mandate this, and yet they still occasionally have a breakdown of some sort, bad milk goes out and people get sick.

 

In general, a problem at a commercial dairy affects more people but we may hear of problems a lot less than they occur because people in far flung locations may not all realize their minor illness had the same source. We only become aware of the most severe cases. If a smaller dairy has a problem, it usually gets identified more quickly because all those affected are within a much smaller geographic area.

 

Keep in mind that bad milk and bad tasting milk are not the same thing. The taste is influenced by both the breed of the animal and what it is eating. So as previously mentioned, if the cows are grazing on the wild spring onions, the milk tastes pretty nasty. But may taste just fine the rest of the year.

 

Each family has to make their own decision regarding this issue. My beef is when the government tries to take away my right to choose which milk I will buy by regulating the smaller dairies out of existance based on the false concept that they are more "dangerous" than the large commercial ones. That is NOT a proven fact, in spite of the fact that many corporations would like us to believe it.

 

I gave my dd raw milk from appx. 8 mos of age to about age 3. We never had any illnesses that were milk related and very few others ones either. We stopped when the government in our area made it illegal for small dairies to sell raw milk.

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We never got sick. We drank it off and on for about a year. It's just too expensive for us to keep buying. :( It's only available for "animal consumption" around here so I used to call my kids little chickens when they drank it.

Being the city slickers that we are DH and I would always have the first drink. If after 24 hours we were not sick we'd give it to the kids.

It made us want our own cow someday.

We only bought from one farm and that was after touring and asking lots of questions.

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Not me personally, but a friend did. He was very ill and unfortunately the doctor didn't think of that right away, nor did the friend (they don't normally drink raw milk, but had it at another friend's).

 

I had a terrible case of colitis (I could drink OJ and 20 minutes later it came out the other end as OJ) when I was drinking raw milk. They were not set up as a raw milk place. It was a farm where you could bring your own gallon glass jars and they'd get it warm from the cow for you. (It was very inexpensive, too).

 

I was hospitalized for a couple days getting all my salts in order. By the time I went to the hospital, I was so depleted I was rigid, and the roomies lay me out in the back of my 61 Jimmy pickup and drove me in. Really, it was far beyond a little viral "gastroenteritis", and the closest thing I've seen to it was a cholera patient I had back in the Bronx (from Bangladesh).

 

What milk I drink is for coffee, or a bit of protein, so I'm not looking for magic from it.

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I had a terrible case of colitis (I could drink OJ and 20 minutes later it came out the other end as OJ) when I was drinking raw milk. They were not set up as a raw milk place. It was a farm where you could bring your own gallon glass jars and they'd get it warm from the cow for you. (It was very inexpensive, too).

 

I was hospitalized for a couple days getting all my salts in order. By the time I went to the hospital, I was so depleted I was rigid, and the roomies lay me out in the back of my 61 Jimmy pickup and drove me in. Really, it was far beyond a little viral "gastroenteritis", and the closest thing I've seen to it was a cholera patient I had back in the Bronx (from Bangladesh).

 

What milk I drink is for coffee, or a bit of protein, so I'm not looking for magic from it.

That must have been a truly horrible experience! It looks like how the place it set up is of the utmost importance. I called and spoke directly with the farmer yesterday. In the 4 years they've been doing this no one has gotten sick. He gives the milk to his own family and I know others who have been drinking the milk for a while. I pick up my first 2 gallons tomorrow. To tell you the truth, even with all that, I'm still a little nervous especially when I hear accounts like this. But then there are so many other testimonies of how well people have done with raw milk. I see that Jordan Rubin and several doctors are advocates. The more I research, the more I see the raging debate over this issue.

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We have drank raw milk for 6 years now! We hardly get sick! It is more scares coming out of the other side. Do the research and see why you can get heart disease from the pasturized junk and not the pure stuff.

 

Think about why it is a big deal with the officials. They don't have control over it and it is making people healthy. I never understood why our country has the Food and Drug together. Other countries have these agencies by themselves not together. It isn't about our health it is about the almighty dollar.

 

Please support the local farmer. If he sells it for more here is why. He probably doesn't take government handouts to support his farm. He is doing it himself. We must save our family farms.

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Another tip! Ask the farmer how cold he has his milk tank. When it goes into the milk tank the colder it is the better. It stays fresh longer and I think the cool down helps. We have has some milk that didn't get cooled proper and it tasted weird. The faster it cools after being milked the better.

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we have had a house cow for 15 years, none of us have got sick from it. The cow's udder is washed before hand milking, and then strained afterwards before being refrigerated. We discard the milk after 3 days, not because it has gone off, but why keep old milk when the re is fresh every day. My kids prefer it at least 12 hours after milking(creamier flavor, plus foams better in a milkshake). I pasteurize milk used for making cheese, but make butter with unpasteurized cream.

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Undestroyed nutrients. I just don't feel malnourished. :)

 

I'm actually genuinely curious about this.

 

(My background is in protein chemistry, specifically in protein stability, and as such I have extensive experience of how proteins behave under various conditions. I also have some experience in microbiology, lipid, and carbohydrate chemistry. So that's where I'm coming from.)

 

It seems to me that any "magic" due to the action of proteins (enzymatic, immunological, etc) will be destroyed by the acidity in the stomach--milk curdles (the proteins denature, rendering them inactive) in acid, which is why it is inadvisable to put both lemon and milk in one's tea:). And besides that, bovine proteins may or may not be functional in humans; bovine antibodies most certainly won't. As for any sort of "living" element--milk is supposed to be sterile in the cow, and introducing bacteria from the outside of the cow or from the barnyard is actively avoided at a raw milk dairy. So that leaves us with the smaller components--vitamins and minerals, which I suppose may be more available in unpasteurized milk, as well as fats and carbohydrates, but fats and carbohydrates are far less affected by changes in temperature.

 

Since what seems right to me is not always what is correct in reality, I'd be interested in whatever people have to say about these particular issues and also in any scientific studies on this topic.

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