Earlier this year, our Chicago personal injury lawyers reflected on the potential dangers caused by consuming raw milk. However, according to a study published last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the danger is even worse than originally thought.
A recent report by MSNBC, detailing the findings of the CDC’s investigation revealed that the rate of food-poisoning outbreaks caused by unpasteurized, or raw, milk and dairy products is more than 150 times greater than outbreaks linked to pasteurized milk.
In many cases, before milk is sold to consumers, it undergoes a process known as pasteurization, which involves heating milk to 161 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds for the purpose of sanitizing the milk. Although the CDC, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say that pathogens from raw milk make it unsafe for people to consume, some organizations argue that, because farm sanitation has greatly improved, raw milk can now be produced hygienically. Nevertheless, many outbreaks stem from raw milk products produced at seemingly hygienic farms.
As it stands, 28 U.S. States currently do not prohibit the sales of raw milk. Proponents of raw milk claim that, in addition to killing off the dangerous bacteria in the milk, pasteurization also removes some of the natural nutrients, such as vitamins B12 and E. On the other hand, most government agencies and public health organizations require that milk be pasteurized in order to be considered safely drinkable. Additionally, according to the CDC, raw milk generally does not contain vitamin D, which is added to pasteurized milk during the sanitation process.
The CDC’s investigation comes on the heels of an outbreak emanating from infected raw milk that has sickened nearly 100 people across four states. In fact, the sale of raw milk led to 73 disease outbreaks, two deaths, and many permanent disabilities during the period of 1993-2006, reported MSNBC. These statistics are even more disturbing when one takes into account that the sale of raw milk constitutes less than 1 percent of all dairy sales, yet leads to so many incidents of illness.
Illinois product liability law requires that when manufacturers put a product on the market, they are responsible for ensuring that the product is safe for consumer use. This is especially true for food manufacturers whose products have to be thoroughly inspected before they are allowed to be distributed to the public. When dangerous or contaminated foods harm consumers, the corporations may be liable for the injuries caused and may be legally responsible for damages caused by those injuries. This may give rise to an Illinois personal injury lawsuit.
Illnesses from food poisoning have the potential to be devastating and life altering. A doctor will be able to diagnose if you have been infected by contaminated food. Additionally, a personal injury attorney may be able to advise you of your rights under the law: if you were sickened by disease-ridden food, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers have extensive experience handling cases involving foodborne illnesses, and even won a $4 million settlement on behalf of three attendees at a national convention who contracted salmonella poisoning that led to crippling arthritic injuries.
Bearing in mind this recent CDC analysis, our Illinois injury attorneys want people to be safe. Consistent with suggestions put forth by the Centers for Disease control, we urge people to be very careful consuming raw milk, and to think twice before giving raw milk to children, as they constitute the majority of the victims of raw-milk illnesses.