A new study shows that drinking raw milk, instead of pasteurised milk, can increase your risk of getting a food-borne illness by over 100 times.
These food-borne illnesses include diarrhoea, vomiting, cramping, fevers, and sometimes more serious consequences such as kidney failure or death, said the study published in the journal AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
"The scientific literature showed that the risk of food-borne illness from raw milk is over 100 times greater than the risk of food-borne illness from pasteurised milk," said the study's lead author Benjamin Davis from Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF).
Raw milk has become more popular in recent years. Advocates believed that raw milk, which contains more natural antibodies, proteins and bacteria than pasteurised milk, is healthier, cleaner, tastes better and reduces lactose intolerance and allergies in certain people.
But the new study found that microbial contaminants commonly found in milk include infectious Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Listeria species along with the Escherichia coli type O157:H7.
These bacteria can cause foodborne illness in humans, especially among children, pregnant women and the elderly, the researchers warned.