MORGAN COUNTY - States that allow raw milk sales, including Missouri, are twice as likely to experience a dairy-related illness outbreak, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this year.
The report showed nearly 60 percent of all dairy-related illness outbreaks were linked to raw, or unpasteurized, dairy products. This number includes both milk and cheese.
Raw milk from a farm in Howard County was linked to seven E. Coli cases in Missouri.
According to the report, between 1993 and 2006 there were 46 outbreaks resulting in 930 illnesses across the nation connected to raw milk.
CDC spokesperson Lola Russell said the classification of an illness is based on the diagnosis of a doctor. The diagnosis is then confirmed through a lab test with a state's health laboratory and matched with the CDC's Pulsenet database.
Andrew Clarke, an associate professor with MU's Food Science program, confirmed the risks of contamination are higher for consumers of raw milk compared with pasteurized milk.
"You're always trying to minimize the contamination that is possible from entering the milk, regardless of whether it's going to be pasteurized or not," Clarke said. "In the case of individuals who will sell raw milk products you have to be extra scrupulously cleaner than one would think."
Clarke said milk is in its safest form when it's been pasteurized and that it eliminates many risks of infection.
You can read the full report from the CDC here.