FYI: Raw milk not fortified with Vit. D, etc, etc. — Health Canada advisory

It’s curious to think they probably issued this because Michael Schmidt has been so much in the news lately:

OTTAWA – Health Canada would like to remind Canadians not to drink raw (unpasteurized) milk because it could contain bacteria that could make you seriously ill.

Historically, unpasteurized milk has been linked to many serious diseases. Several kinds of bacteria that can be found in raw milk, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria, have been linked to foodborne illness outbreaks. These bacteria can cause serious health conditions, ranging from fever, vomiting and diarrhea to life-threatening kidney failure, miscarriage and death. Children, pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk.

Due to these health concerns, the Food and Drug Regulations require that all milk sold in Canada be pasteurized. Pasteurization kills the organisms that may cause disease while keeping the nutritional properties of milk intact. Raw milk has not been treated to make it safe. It has also not been fortified with vitamin D.

Pasteurized milk is an important food and contains many nutrients that are essential for good health, including protein, calcium and vitamin D. The number of foodborne illness outbreaks from milk has dramatically decreased since pasteurization was made mandatory by Health Canada in 1991.

The sale of raw milk (except for further manufacturing) is prohibited under the Food and Drugs Act. Raw milk cheese is allowed for sale and considered safe because its manufacturing process helps to eliminate many pathogens that may be present in raw milk.

Although raw milk is not allowed to be sold in Canada, people have become ill after drinking it when visiting farms. While pasteurized milk is now the standard, there are some Canadians who continue to prefer raw milk because they believe it is healthier. However, it is important to note that any possible benefits are far outweighed by the serious risk of illness from drinking raw milk.

For more information on raw milk and food safety, please visit:

Government of Canada’s Tip sheet on Raw Milk

Next link will take you to another Web site Government of Canada’s Food Safety Portal

Next link will take you to another Web site Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education’s Be Food Safe Canada Campaign

9 Comments

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9 responses to “FYI: Raw milk not fortified with Vit. D, etc, etc. — Health Canada advisory

  1. Pasteurized milk is mandated to be fortified with vitamin D because pasteurization diminishes the vitamin content of raw milk. Also, commercial raw milk has diminished vitamin content in the first place, when compared to holistic raw milk.

  2. Barb

    Isn’t it true that raw milk does not need to be *fortified* with Vitamin D, as pastured cattle produce milk containing Vitamin D anyway?

    • Yes but Health Canada only has statistics on the conventional dairy herd milk. They don’t seem to be in the least interested in looking at the difference that feeding and lifestyle practices have on cows or their milk.

    • John

      As far as I know, cow’s milk is a very poor source of Vitamin D no matter what the cows are fed; so whether pasteurization affects this is somewhat moot. Since Vitamin D is fat soluble, the very small amount of Vitamin D in milk will be slightly higher in milk with higher fat%.
      Milk was chosen as the logical vector for Vitamin D fortification so that the D is ingested with the calcium from the milk to increase calcium absorption and metabolism. The result is the virtual elimination of rickets where milk has been so fortified.
      Speaking of rickets. I was raised on full-fat farm milk in a country with long grazing seasons and must have come perilously close to developing rickets (and I have the 5cm gap between my knees as evidence). Thankfully my parents knew enough to force feed me the cod liver oil……..ugh!

  3. “Health Canada would like to remind Canadians not to drink raw (unpasteurized) milk because it could contain bacteria that could make you seriously ill.” More like seriously WELL!

  4. aed939

    Also, risk preference is subjective, so Health Canada cannot tell anyone that the potential benefits to any one individual are outweighed by the risks.

  5. AJ

    Absolutely Laughable! More advice on how to live without wisdom. Advice directed toward the gullable masses whom can no longer think for themselves. Gullable masses whom will still get vaccinations etc …. based upon their advisement.

    If Health Canada didn’t advise people to wear carciogenic chemical sunscreen to protect themselves from the same sunlight that all living things need to LIVE, they wouldn’t need to add the Vitamin D nor the other krud they add to the milk. Milk that they have killed via boiling the life giving nutients out of it.

    It must truly be a frieghtening thing for Health Canada to realize that their reach into the gullable masses is slipping. So much of their audience has broken away to think for themselves with something known as – common sense.

  6. Supermarket “fresh” vegetables also contain Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria — where are all of those government warnings on that RAW food? Consumers are given choices to eat raw veggies or cooked veggies and neither are regulated. Why is raw milk treated differently?

  7. Lisen

    First time I had raw milk, I thought it tasted dreadful and way too sweet. Second time, and years later, it tasted better, except I was sick to my stomach for an entire night. Therefore, No raw milk in my fridge. Use to live on a farm with one jersey cow. All her milk was turned into the most delicious yellow coloured butter. I’ve tried all kinds of different dairy brands, and, in my opinion, AVALON Dairy is the best tasting, family owned, certified organic dairy in all of BC. All their milk products comes in sustainable, old fashioned, glass bottles. NO, I don’t work for Avalon Dairy, nor am I affiliated with them in any way. I simply just LOVE their products.

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