The report is published in the scientific journal for Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“We estimated outbreak-related illnesses and hospitalizations caused by the consumption of cow’s milk and cheese contaminated with Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter using a model relying on publicly available outbreak data,” says the report.
In the United States, outbreaks associated with dairy consumption cause, on average, are 760 illnesses per year and 22 hospitalization per year, mostly from Salmonella and Campylobacter.
Unpasteurized milk, consumed by only 3.2 per cent of the population, and cheese, consumed by only 1.6 per cent of the population, caused 96 per cent of illnesses caused by contaminated dairy products.
Unpasteurized dairy products thus cause 840 times more illnesses and 45 times more hospitalizations than pasteurized products.
As consumption of unpasteurized dairy products grows, illnesses will increase steadily; a doubling in the consumption of unpasteurized milk or cheese could increase outbreak-related illnesses by 96 per cent, says the report.