Consumption of raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products by pregnant women and children

Yvonne A. Maldonado, Mary P. Glode, Jatinder J Bhatia, Michael T. Brady, Carrie L. Byington, H. Dele Davies, Kathryn M. Edwards, Mary Anne Jackson, Harry L. Keyserling, Dennis L Murray, Walter A. Orenstein, Gordon E. Schutze, Rodney E. Willoughby, Theoklis E. Zaoutis, Jatinder J.S. Bhatia, Steven A. Abrams, Mark R. Corkins, Sarah D. De Ferranti, Neville H. Golden, Sheela N. MaggeSarah Jane Schwarzenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sales of raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products are still legal in at least 30 states in the United States. Raw milk and milk products from cows, goats, and sheep continue to be a source of bacterial infections attributable to a number of virulent pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella species, Brucella species, and Escherichia coli O157. These infections can occur in both healthy and immunocompromised individuals, including older adults, infants, young children, and pregnant women and their unborn fetuses, in whom life-threatening infections and fetal miscarriage can occur. Efforts to limit the sale of raw milk products have met with opposition from those who are proponents of the purported health benefits of consuming raw milk products, which contain natural or unprocessed factors not inactivated by pasteurization. However, the benefits of these natural factors have not been clearly demonstrated in evidence-based studies and, therefore, do not outweigh the risks of raw milk consumption. Substantial data suggest that pasteurized milk confers equivalent health benefits compared with raw milk, without the additional risk of bacterial infections. The purpose of this policy statement was to review the risks of raw milk consumption in the United States and to provide evidence of the risks of infectious complications associated with consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products, especially among pregnant women, infants, and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-179
Number of pages5
JournalPediatrics
Volume133
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014

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Keywords

  • Children
  • Pregnant women
  • Raw milk/milk products
  • Unpasteurized milk/milk products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Maldonado, Y. A., Glode, M. P., Bhatia, J. J., Brady, M. T., Byington, C. L., Davies, H. D., ... Schwarzenberg, S. J. (2014). Consumption of raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products by pregnant women and children. Pediatrics, 133(1), 175-179. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2013-3502