The AVMA supports laws requiring pasteurization of fluid nonhuman mammalian milk intended for direct sale or distribution to consumers and opposes laws permitting direct sale or distribution of unpasteurized (raw) milk to consumers. In those states where the sale of raw milk is allowed, these products should be labeled "Not Pasteurized and May Contain Organisms that Cause Disease."
Raw milk can contain organisms that may cause diseases, including but not limited to brucellosis, campylobacteriosis, coxiellosis (Q fever), cryptosporidiosis, listeriosis, salmonellosis, tuberculosis, and E. coli infection. These pathogens can be shed directly from the animals or introduced via environmental contamination during the milking and packaging process. These pathogens also can be difficult to detect. Therefore, the AVMA recommends that fluid nonhuman mammalian milk sold or distributed to consumers be pasteurized and all dairy products be produced under a scientifically validated food safety program.
(Formerly titled "Pasteurization")