Potential safety concerns associated with milk include bacterial pathogens and chemical residues. Foodborne pathogens associated with milk include those that may be associated with cows, milk-handlers, equipment, and the environment.1-21 Raw milk thus serves as an important vehicle of transmission of several pathogens including Campylobacter spp., Brucella spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Salmonella (including multidrug-resistant strains), Myco-bacterium bovis, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia en-terocolitica, Staphylococcus aureus, and Clostridium perfringens (http://www.cdc.gov/).1-2,5-1 Pathogens that have been involved in the majority of outbreaks linked to the consumption of raw milk or pasteurized milk that has been inadequately heat treated or contaminated postpasteurization include Salmonella, Campylobacter spp., and Listeria monocytogenes, among others. During the period of 1972 2000, Salmonella was the cause of 17 out of 58 (29%) raw milk-associated outbreaks (http:// www.cdc.gov/).
Chemical residues in milk are caused by antibiotics used on dairy cows to help control diseases such as mastitis, hormones, disinfectants used to sterilize milking and processing sites, pesticides, mycotoxins, toxic metals, and dioxins. In order to regulate the level of these residues in milk, authorities set maximum residue limits that should not be exceeded if good agricultural practice is followed by the dairy industry.
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