Raw Milk Is A Low Risk Food, New Microbial Studies Confirm

Raw Milk a Low Risk FoodA new study published in the Journal of Food Protection has used three quantitative microbial risk assessments (QMRAs) to determine that raw milk is a low risk food.

The new study flies directly in the face of previous evidence that placed raw milk in a high risk food category.

The three QMRAs along with other scholarly papers were reviewed May 16, 2013 at the Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The studies were part of a presentation titled Unpasteurized milk: Myths and evidence.

A high risk category was assigned to raw milk in the 1930s, and that category remained in place despite mounting evidence to the contrary. In fact, today’s food-borne illness epidemics are mostly caused by green leafy vegetables and not raw milk.

Quantitative microbial risk assessment was used because it is the “gold standard” suggested by the United Nations Body Codex Alimentarius. QMRAs are also suggested by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada.

The new studies found that raw milk fits into the low risk of illness category for the following pathogens: Campylobacter, Shiga-toxin inducing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus.


Not only is raw unpasteurized milk in the low risk category for healthy adults, it also fits that same profile for immunologically-susceptible groups including pregnant women, children, and the elderly.

Peer reviews were conducted to test the accuracy of the QMRAs because they so strongly contradicted previous studies, specifically in cases of Listeria.

While the study contradicts the long held belief that raw milk is a high risk food, experts warn that the effects of industrial milk production practices still need to be carefully studied.



New Studies Confirm: Raw Milk A Low-Risk Food:

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Written by James Johnson

James Johnson is a writer, editor, husband, and father.

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