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Pasteurized Milk is Safe!

Are you a mom, dad, grandma, or other consumer that wants to ensure the milk you serve your children or grandchildren is safe? Like most consumers you expect products you buy from the local supermarket to be safe. After recent reporting about avian flu, consumers have become more aware of  the virus. One particular area of concern is if the virus is in the milk we buy at the grocery store. Unfortunately, mainstream reporting on this concern has done a poor job on one key distinction - there have been no LIVE viruses found in milk at the grocery store, thanks to pasteurization. The avian flu is a virus and viruses and bacteria are killed by pasteurization. Pasteurization is used in milk processing plants across the country, from Wisconsin to Texas and from California to Virginia. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, “pasteurization is a process, named after Louis Pasteur, that applies heat to destroy pathogens in foods. For the dairy industry, the terms pasteurization or pasteurized mean the process of heating every particle of milk or milk produced in properly designed and operated equipment to one of the temperatures in the chart and held continuously at or above that temperature for at least the corresponding specific time.”


Pasteurized milk chart

A crucial factor and component in understanding the safety of products in our local grocery stores is that one of the most thoroughly inspected, tested, and documented products is milk. According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, “milk is regulated from the farm to the consumer. Milk regulations are uniformly applied from state to state under what is known as the Interstate Milk Shippers Agreement.” So the next time you are in a hurry and run to the grocery store for a gallon of milk, be confident in the fact that it is safe to drink, make recipes with, or enjoy in a bowl of cereal!


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