'Compromised Immune System' - any danger with raw milk?

  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Feb 15, 2012 1:13 PM GMT
    Whilst researching cheese making, as I plan to make some soon, I came accross a throw away comment about danger to people with compromised immune systems associated with unpasteurised, unhomogenised Raw Cows Milk.



    My partner is HIV+, undetectable and fully health...... can anyone comment on the danger to his health if I use raw milk to make cheese.

    Any comments or info would be much appreciated.

  • mikey_101

    Posts: 250

    Feb 15, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    peterstrong saidLife carries risk period for someone with a compromised immune system, and even for anybody with a regular immune system - the risk of using raw milk is extremely small but present - if you guys are not fully emeshed in natural health knowledge / ways / means / purposes. Then don't use it and just get your good bacterias ( lactobassilus, sp. aciddopholis, sp. etc. ) thru kefir and yogurt and the likes or from over the counter pills from supplement retailers.



    Huh, maybe I'm missing your point.

    I want to understand the risk associated with using raw milk...... I am extremely confident in, as you say "natural health knowledge / ways / means / purposes" for myself...... I am however concerned that there will be repercussions to my partners health.

    Can you elucidate a little and say what the risks are - where they come from and how they can be negated.

    Is the 'risk' as slight as salmonella ie. not worth worrying over.

    Is this a 'risk' manufactured to keep the masses undernourished on sub-standard homogenised and pasteurised growth hormone fed milk?


    I'm definatly into using raw milk for myself - I fully understand the bennefits to me.

    I just dont understand the repercussions to my partner. By trying to do something 'good', I may end up harming him.


    This is part of a larger experiment where we have just bought a farm and will be living slefsufficiently more and more towards the future....... we will be keeping our own goats and using raw milk regularly..... I need to know if there is any risk to my partners health.


    Thanks in advance to you, and anyone else who carse to comment.





  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Feb 15, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    Contact your health department and ask why milk is pasteurized. There are reasons.

    Homogenization is not a health-based procedure. It simply blends the fat content of the mil so that it stays uniformly suspended in the liquid.
    Otherwise you end up with milk with the cream on top and the low fat milk on the bottom. It used to be sold this way.

    Near here, we had a lady die recently from drinking unpasteurized milk. The risk is real.
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    Feb 15, 2012 4:44 PM GMT
    There is risk to raw milk. However, I drink only raw milk.

    The concern is not with the milk as it comes from the cow. The concern is how the milk is handled from the cow to the refrigerator. If milk is handled properly, you will have more bacteria in an average refrigerator than you will in raw milk.

    The same applies to most foods. For example, the way raw meat is handled is the main reason for health related problems such as e. coli, salmonella, etc....

    If you are doing the milking of your own animals in a clean environment, I would think your partner has no worries. However, check with his doctors first.

    If you have any worries, you can pasteurize the milk at home. I'm not sure if the curd will still form if you pasteurize it first. I milk and churn my own butter and make my own cheese. However, I did switch from cows' milk to goats' milk. I make both soft and hard cheeses.

    If you know how to make cheese (a very simple procedure) and are experienced at it, then try it with unpasteurized and pasteurized and see what happens.

    I never pasteurize my milk because I don't care for the flavor change after it has been pasteurized.

    Raw milk DOES NOT kill people or make them sick. The way it is handled determines if there are problems. (With exceptions for lactose intolerance, etc.)
  • johndubuque

    Posts: 319

    Feb 15, 2012 5:04 PM GMT
    There is a small risk for people with a compromised immune system. Here is a quote from the FDA:
    "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 800 people in the United States have gotten sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk since 1998."
    800 people since 1998 is a tiny number.
    I grew up on a farm and drank raw milk for the first 18 years of my life. If you drink it as a child your body develops immunities to the E. coli and listeria which might get in it. An HIV+ person would not have that immunity, but then the vast majority of people in the US do not have the immunity either.
    If you and your partner enjoy the benefits of raw milk, I say the tiny risk is worth it.
  • jim_sf

    Posts: 2094

    Feb 15, 2012 5:45 PM GMT
    What sort of cheese are you planning to make, and how long were you planning to age it? The big debate over raw-milk cheeses is centered on soft cheeses aged less than 60 days; other types or ages of cheese are unlikely to harbor pathogens.

    As for your partner's immune system: if he's undetectable and has a good CD4 count and ratio, then he isn't really "compromised". I'd still check with his physician first, and keep a close eye on things once he starts consuming unpasteurized dairy products, but otherwise the risk should be about the same for both of you.
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    Feb 16, 2012 1:59 AM GMT
    jim_stl saidWhat sort of cheese are you planning to make, and how long were you planning to age it? The big debate over raw-milk cheeses is centered on soft cheeses aged less than 60 days; other types or ages of cheese are unlikely to harbor pathogens.

    As for your partner's immune system: if he's undetectable and has a good CD4 count and ratio, then he isn't really "compromised". I'd still check with his physician first, and keep a close eye on things once he starts consuming unpasteurized dairy products, but otherwise the risk should be about the same for both of you.
    Bingo!
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    Feb 16, 2012 1:25 PM GMT
    yourname2000 saidAs someone already pointed out, you're making cheese....no human pathogens survive 2 months of the cheese making process, so just age your cheese and presto-chango: even if there was something in the milk, it isn't anymore.

    And even if you're making soft cheese (feta is super easy to make and the results are fantastic) and only have access to raw milk, you can pasteurize it on the stove easily before you add your starter (it needs to have cooled before you add that, though.)

    Cheese making is fun. The whey you'll be left with is great for soups and other recipes, or if you've got quite a bit of it you can make some ricotta from it (mmmm.) icon_biggrin.gif


    +1

    If you pasteurize it at home, just be sure to use a double boiler. You're less likely to scorch the milk. Heat it slowly.

    Also, there are two types of proteins in milk that are used in making cheese... casein and albumin. I can't remember which is which, but when you make cheese, the curd you get is, I think, the casein. The whey that is left over contains the albumin. Albumin is used in ricotta. If you take your whey, put it on the stove and heat to almost boiling, the remaining albumin protein will curd and that is your ricotta cheese. Very very simple to do.