Friday, December 9, 2011

Spoiled Milk Hazards

Spoiled milk will have a distinct smell and taste.

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The hazards of spoiled milk depend on the kind of milk it is. Spoiled pasteurized milk and raw milk are completely different dangers. The smell of ruined milk is usually enough to warn you that you do not want to drink it. If you accidentally swallow raw milk, the very thought of it may make you sick to your stomach.

Related Searches: Pasteurized Milk

In the 1800s, Louis Pasteur made life safer and easier for all of us. He developed a process for heating milk (or wine or beer) to just below the boiling point and rapidly cooling it. This process kills many of the bacteria that are harmful and potentially fatal. This process makes milk safer and keeps it fresher longer. When pasteurized milk spoils, it is not likely to be fatal but can be dangerous to young people and those with compromised immune systems, according to Healthline. The first symptom is usually diarrhea. It can then cause nausea, abdominal cramps and vomiting similar to other foodborne illnesses. Many recipes use spoiled milk as an ingredient. The spoiled milk is heated, killing bacteria. Most milk bought in a grocery store is pasteurized, and this is clearly indicated on the label.

Raw Milk

Milk that has not been pasteurized is called raw. This milk may contain salmonella, Escherichia coli, campylobacter and the bacteria that cause illnesses such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, streptococcal infections, typhoid fever and other illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Though many foods carry foodborne illnesses, raw milk is one of the most dangerous. Drinking contaminated raw milk, at a minimum, causes several days of severe cramping, diarrhea and vomiting. At the worst, contaminated milk causes kidney failure, paralysis, several chronic conditions and even death. Raw milk is especially dangerous to young children, pregnant women, elderly people and those with weakened immune systems, such as a transplant recipient, cancer patient or someone with AIDS/HIV. Raw milk is found in many farmer's markets and organic food stores. If the word "pasteurized" is not printed on the label, it probably is not pasteurized. If in doubt, ask the farmer or market owner. If you are not able to verify it has been pasteurized, it is not worth the risk to drink it.

Expiration Dates

Raw milk is never completely safe. Keep pasteurized milk in the refrigerator, and keep the refrigerator at 37 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch the expiration dates and throw it out when the date is passed. Pasteurized milk begins to spoil at 45 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 18 degrees rise in temperature, the spoilage rate of milk doubles. Milk spoils even faster if left uncovered. Even if milk is well within the expiration period, it spoils quickly if left out. The warmer it is, the more quickly it spoils. If you encounter milk that has been left out and allowed to warm, toss it out to be on the safe side.

If Spoiled

The first thing most people notice is the sour smell of ruined milk. This is usually enough to deter an adult, but children may go ahead and drink it anyway. It pays to be vigilant about tossing old milk and food if there are young people in the house. If the milk is allowed to spoil further, it forms a solid crust on the top while the liquid in the bottom becomes clear. The milk eventually curdles, forming solid lumps similar to cottage cheese. If an adult ingests a small amount of spoiled pasteurized milk, he probably may not need medical attention unless he has a compromised immune system. If a child, elderly person or someone with a weak immune system ingests spoiled pasteurized milk, contact a doctor. If stomach pains, nausea, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea or any other unusual symptoms occur in any person after ingesting raw milk, seek medical attention immediately.

ReferencesNorth Carolina State University; Food Safety; Protecting the Safety of Milk; J.E. RushingCDC; Food Safety; Raw Milk Questions and AnswersHealthline: Drinking Milk After the Expiration DateWeb MD; Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling; February 2008Cooks; Recipes: Sour MilkPhoto Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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