By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: July 3, 2020 11:20:45 pm
History of milk as part of a formal feeding scheme in schools can be traced back to as early as 1920s in the UK and 1940s in the US. (Source: Getty Images)
Cow milk is considered among the most healthy drinks and many drink it cold and raw as a habit. However, a study has found that drinking raw milk can lead to multiple illnesses as well as food-borne disease. It may also be a source of bacterial infection in the body, says the findings.
The research was done at the University of California, Davis, examined more than 2000 milk samples from different parts of the United States, including raw milk and milk pasteurised in various ways. It was found that raw milk had the highest prevalence of antibiotic-resistant microbes when left at room temperature.
Bacteria with antimicrobial-resistant genes, if passed to a pathogen, have the potential to become “superbugs,” so that pharmaceutical drugs to treat infection or disease no longer work. Each year, almost three million people develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“The researchers, however, stated that this study had no intention to scare people; rather it was to educate them. If you want to keep drinking raw milk, keep it in your refrigerator to minimise the risk of it developing bacteria with antibiotic-resistant genes,” said lead author Jinxin Liu, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis according to the study.
“Our study shows that with any temperature abuse in raw milk, whether intentional or not, it can grow these bacteria with antimicrobial resistance genes,” said co-author Michele Jay-Russell, research microbiologist and manager with the UC Davis Western Center for Food Safety. “It’s not just going to spoil. It’s really high risk if not handled correctly,” Jay-Russel added.
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