Health Advisory: Dangers of Raw Milk Consumption

The Middle-Brook Regional Health Commission (MBRHC), New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), and Department of Agriculture (NJDA) are cautioning residents about the dangers of consuming raw milk amidst the current outbreak of H5N1 Avian Influenza (Bird flu) in the United States. While there have been no reports of H5N1 Bird Flu among residents or dairy cows in New Jersey, we emphasize the potential risks of raw milk consumption for humans and pets.

Raw milk, which has not been pasteurized, may contain harmful pathogens such as Brucella, Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, which can cause serious illness. Pasteurization of milk eliminates pathogens, like H5N1 Avian Influenza, that keep people from getting sick. Anyone can get sick from consuming raw milk (including pets), but those most at risk of severe illness include children under 5, adults over 65, and those with weakened immune systems.

The MBRHC, NJDOH, and NJDA advise consumers to choose pasteurized milk and dairy products, properly refrigerate perishable foods at or below 40° F, and discard expired items to reduce the risk of illness. Dairies are taking measures to ensure that only milk from healthy animals enters the human food supply, and we are closely monitoring the situation in collaboration with local, state, and federal partners.

A flyer warning of the dangers of consuming raw milk. Click to open an OCR scanned PDF version of this flyer.

Read the New Jersey Department of Health News Release here.

Para leer el artículo del Departamento de Salud de Nueva Jersey en Español, pulse aquí.