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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

A new study from the Minnesota Department of Health reports one-in-every-six people who drink raw milk get sick. That is significantly higher than the number of cases reported in relation to outbreaks associated with raw milk. Minnesota allows the limited sale of raw milk

The researchers found that from 2001 to 2010; 530 people, about 3.7 percent of all who got sick from food-borne bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter reported drinking raw milk prior to getting sick. These were cases not tied to outbreaks. Of the 530 raw milk drinkers who got sick, 70 required hospitalization for an average of three days. One, an 11-month-old infant died.

The study found children are disproportionately affected for example, the median age for those infected with E.coli 0157:H7 was 5. About 76 percent of children five and under with a culture-confirmed case of infection from food poisoning bacteria had been served raw milk from their own farm or from a relative's farm before becoming ill.

In 2006, the last year for which data is available, 2.3 percent or 118,843 of Minnesota's 5.1 million people reported consuming raw milk at least once a week. The report says for every lab-confirmed case of food poisoning illness there are between 26 and 100 unconfirmed cases. They extrapolate that out to about 17.3 percent of raw milk drinkers in Minnesota, or 1 in 6, gets food poisoning.

The study will be published in the Centers for Disease Control; Emerging Infectious Diseases journal in January.

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