(HealthDay News) – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against the consumption of raw milk, especially among pregnant women, infants, and children, because of the risk of bacterial infections, according to a policy statement published online Dec. 16 in Pediatrics.

Yvonne A. Maldonado, MD, of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, and colleagues reviewed and compiled evidence on the risks of infectious complications associated with consumption of unpasteurized milk and milk products in the United States.

The researchers found that consumption of raw milk and milk products from cows, goats, and sheep may result in bacterial infections caused by numerous virulent pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella species, Brucella species, and Escherichia coli O157. These products may cause life-threatening infections in healthy and immunocompromised individuals, as well as fetal miscarriage in pregnant women. Evidence suggests that pasteurized milk offers equivalent health benefits without the risk of bacterial infections associated with raw milk.

“In summary, the AAP strongly supports the position of the FDA and other national and international associations in endorsing the consumption of only pasteurized milk and milk products for pregnant women, infants, and children,” the authors write.

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