What happens if you give a baby unpasteurized milk?


Quick Answer

If a baby is fed unpasteurized milk once or twice in a year, the chances for adverse reactions are slim, but regular feeding on unpasteurized milk significantly increases the risk for contracting an E.coli infection. If the baby gets an E.coli infection, death can occur.

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Full Answer

Most milk sold in stores is heated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit and held at that temperature for no less than 15 seconds. This kills all the bacteria that could have contaminated the milk at any point in the collection process. Once the milk has been heated for the appropriate amount of time, it is cooled and transferred through sterile equipment to the end-product containers.

Unpasteurized or raw milk is milk that has not been heated. This milk is not allowed to be sold in stores in many states. It can sometimes be sold from small farms with less than five cows, but sellers are typically not allowed to advertise the fact that they are selling raw milk.

There are testing standards to prevent buyers from getting ill due to raw milk, but it is not possible to test all of the milk produced at all times. This means that if raw milk is only occasionally fed to babies, there is a smaller chance of encountering an infected batch. If a baby is regularly fed raw milk, it is only a matter of time before he comes into contact with E.coli.

E.coli can cause a serious infection, and a baby's weaker immune system makes it more difficult for them to fight off the bacteria. This means there is a higher chance of an infected baby dying from E.coli.

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