Always boil raw milk to protect against infections

Always boil raw milk to protect against infections

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Raw milk can contain bacteria and should therefore be boiled before consumption

Raw milk from the farm should always be boiled before it is consumed. This is indicated by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in a current communication. According to this, the authority repeatedly receives disease reports, particularly in the summer months during the holiday season, which can be attributed to the consumption of raw milk that has not been boiled. Raw milk may contain dangerous pathogens such as Campylobacter or Ehec. The germs are killed by vigorous heating.

Pathogens in raw milk can make you sick "Raw milk from the farm should always be boiled before consumption because it can be contaminated with pathogens such as Campylobacter or EHEC," explains BfR President Professor Andreas Hensel. The institute recommends that pregnant women, children and the elderly and sick people should not consume any raw milk or products made from it. This should also be taken into account when traveling from school classes to farms.

According to the BfR, there are annual outbreaks of disease that can be attributed to the consumption of raw milk on farms or on holiday in rural regions. Infections with Campylobacter usually occur, which are characterized by fever, diarrhea and pelvic pain. In rarer cases, EHEC bacteria cause significantly more severe disease courses. Young children in particular are at increased risk of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), which can cause permanent kidney damage.

Do not consume raw milk without first boiling Campylobacter and EHEC bacteria occur, among other things, in the intestines of cattle and are excreted in the faeces. The germs can therefore get into the milk during milking. Other pathogens such as listeria, salmonella and Q fever can also be found in raw milk. However, the germs are killed by vigorous heating during boiling, ultra-high heating or pasteurization.

In order to prevent infections caused by the consumption of raw milk, the supply of this natural milk is prohibited in Germany. The only exception is for "milk from the farm". Farmers who sell "milk from the farm" are obliged to comply with special hygiene regulations. In addition, the notice "raw milk, boil before consumption" must be clearly recognizable at the delivery point. (ag)

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