North Carolina health and agriculture officials say eight illnesses linked to raw milk consumption within the past month highlight the risks of drinking unpasteurized milk.
According to the FDA, raw milk is unpasteurized milk from hoofed mammals, such as cows, sheep, or goats. Raw milk may contain a wide variety of harmful bacteria – including Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella -- that may cause illness and possibly death. The most common symptoms of campylobacteriosis are vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache and body aches. The harmful bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, infants, young children and people with weakened immune systems.