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The Raw Deal on Milk Safety

image of cows resting in a green field

Despite the fact that we carry tiny computers around in our pockets and drive cars that know where they are going, Americans still do not have a consensus on the safety of raw milk. The pasteurization process was specifically developed 150 years ago to kill harmful bacteria, like E. coli, but proponents of raw milk argue that it also destroys healthful components. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are 1,909 known incidents of illness (including Campylobacter, Samonella, E. coli, and a number of other food-borne pathogens) reported between 1993 and 2012 in connection to consuming raw milk. The CDC believes that number only represents a fraction of actual cases because food borne illnesses are underreported.

The Campaign for Real Milk argues that raw, unpasteurized milk that has been collected in sanitary conditions from healthy cows is not only safe to drink, but better for you because of naturally occurring properties that stimulate the immune system and contribute to healthy gut bacteria.

Regardless of which side of the cow you sit on, when it comes to sanitation, no dairy can afford to mess around. But many operations are stuck with older equipment (such as Ma’ Kettle’s stove-top “pressure cooker”-style autoclave). Upgrading a dairy operation with a small, programmable industrial autoclave is easier than you think, and reaps immediate benefits in increased efficiency and saved time.

[Photo credit: Maciej Lewandowski, CC BY-SA 2.0]