Raw Milk – Know the Raw Facts

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Many people choose raw milk thinking it will improve their health, but it can cause serious illness in anyone.

What Is Raw Milk Anyway?

Cow in a green circle

Raw milk has not been pasteurized to kill harmful, disease-causing germs, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Pot containing milk being heated

Pasteurization is the process of heating milk to kill harmful bacteria.

Illustration of a germ

Before most milk in the U.S. was pasteurized, raw milk was a common source of foodborne illness.

Some germs linked to raw milk outbreaks

Campylobacter germ

Campylobacter

E. coli germ

E. coli

Salmonella germ

Salmonella

Listeria germ

Listeria

What Can You Do To Lower Your Risk Of Getting Sick?

Choose pasteurized milk and dairy products

Choose pasteurized milk and dairy products.

Buy and eat products that say “pasteurized” on the label. If in doubt, don’t buy it!

Refrigerate dairy products at 40°F or below

Refrigerate dairy products at 40°F or below.

Throw away any expired product

Throw away any expired product.

Be Wise. Only Drink Milk That’s Pasteurized!

More Information

For more information on raw milk, please visit www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk

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Raw milk - Know the raw facts infographic

Download the Raw Milk – Know the Raw Facts pdf icon[PDF – 1 page] infographic to learn how raw milk can cause serious illness in anyone.