What are the bacteria found in milk?
Most cow’s milk has quantities of herbicides, pesticides, dioxins (one of the most toxic substances in the world), up to 52 antibiotics, blood, pus, faeces, bacteria and viruses. In 1992, Pennsylvania State University published an extensive review of some of the known hormones and growth factors found in a typical glass of milk – all brought in artificially. The list included seven pituitary (an endocrine gland in the brain) hormones, seven steroid hormones, seven hypothalamic (another brain endocrine gland) hormones, eight gastrointestinal peptides (chains of two or more amino acids), six thyroid and parathyroid hormones, 11 growth factors, and nine other biologically active compounds. Add to these, oxytocin, a hormone injected twice daily into every cow and which causes major diseases in the human body.
A dairy cow filters blood and bacteria through her udder each day and uses dead white blood cells or pus cells to manufacture the milk. When cows are infected with mastitis, the udders bleed and discharge even more pus, which includes bacteria and blood, into the milk. Diseases such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, typhoid and listeriosis can be transmitted to humans through milk.
Dairy products have been linked to acne, anaemia, anxiety, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, joint pain, poor immunity, allergies, obesity, heart disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can cause paralysis, and haemolytic uremic syndrome, a disease that can result in kidney failure and strokes, diabetes, autism and cancers.
What are the bacteria found in milk?
* Bacillus cereus, a major contaminant, is a spore forming bacteria commonly found in small numbers in the environment. Ingestion of more than 100,000 organisms per gram of food can cause illness. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhoea, and/or vomiting and occur between ½ hour and 24 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms rarely last more than 24 hours.
The presence of Bacillus cereus spores in milk is unavoidable. This pathogen produces both a toxin and spore capable of surviving pasteurization. Bacillus cereus will grow at 5°C, only slightly above refrigeration temperature. Therefore, even slight temperature abuse may render the product unsafe. Outbreaks are not very common because dairy products are usually refrigerated. If not, the chances of contamination increase. Milk served in schools is likely to be contaminated. Studies in traditional dairy farms and milk markets show that B. cereus has been found in 27% of udder milk samples and up to 41% in pooled milk samples.
* Campylobacter jejuni is the most common bacteria to cause diarrheal disease in the world and is found in unpasteurised milk. It has an increased chance of causing disease when consumed in milk, because the basic pH of milk neutralizes the acidity of the stomach and allows the bacteria to grow. The bacteria generally causes illness 2 to 5 days after exposure, and illness typically lasts 5 to 10 days. Symptoms include diarrhoea, bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramping, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Patients with Campylobacteriosis usually recover without specific treatment other than fluid and electrolyte replacement. In some persons with a compromised immune system, Campylobacter jejuni infection can lead to the more serious diseases Guillan-Barré syndrome and Reiter syndrome. Guillan-Barré syndrome is a disorder that results in temporary neuromuscular paralysis, although 20% of those infected may have long term disability and it may cause death. Reiter syndrome is a reactive arthritis that may affect multiple joints, particularly the knee joint.
* Brucella bacteria are the cause of brucellosis which is zoonotic. It is transmitted by ingesting contaminated food such as unpasteurised milk and cheese. The symptoms come after 2-4 weeks. For many healthy people it is possible that no noticeable symptoms will develop. A minority of people will have very mild symptoms that can be mistaken for flu symptoms. The symptoms can be vague and include fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, and fever. However the rest get acute undulating fever rising very high in the day, causing drenching sweats and going down in the evening, causing chills, headache, fatigue, depression and anorexia. Foul-smelling perspiration is considered a classical sign. Later complications may include arthritis, spondylitis, liver abscesses and endocarditis which can be fatal. Globally, an estimated 500,000 cases of brucellosis occur each year. Brucella species survive extremes in temperature, pH, humidity, and in frozen and aborted materials. Vaccination in young cattle helps in protection, but does not offer full effectiveness.
* Coxiella burnetti, found in milk is one of the most heat-resistant bacteria. It causes Q fever, an illness characterised by a sudden onset of high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, chest pain, chills or sweats, sore throat and non-productive cough. Fever, caused due to these bacteria, can last for up to two weeks. While most patients recover from illness without any treatment, in rare cases Coxiella burnetii may even result in death. Upto 94% of milk has been found contaminated with this bacteria.
Psychotropic bacteria are not a specific type or family of bacteria, but rather this is the name given to bacteria that are capable of growing at 44.6°F (7°C) or less. This group of microbes is a concern in dairy products because they grow at refrigerator temperature and cause spoilage, often resulting in off-flavours. The most common psychrotrops are in the genus Pseudomonas. These organisms are killed by pasteurization, but may occur in milk from contamination after pasteurization. Some bacterial pathogens are psychrotrophic, including Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, some E. coli strains and some Bacillus strains.
* E. coli O157:H7 can be found in raw milk and soft cheeses. It produces toxins that cause illness such as bloody diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. In some cases, particularly in young children, E. coli O157:H7 causes a condition that destroys red blood cells and causes kidney damage or failure, and in extreme cases, death. It has been found in upto 10% of bulk milk tanks
* Listeria monocytogenes is a common bacteria found in soft cheeses and unpasteurized milk. The bacteria is found in soil and water. It is destroyed by pasteurization, but if milk is contaminated after pasteurization, it can grow at refrigerator temperatures. Symptoms of Listeriosis include flu-like symptoms, fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, headache, septicaemia, meningitis, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, abortion, or death.
* Mycobacterium paratuberculosis causes Johne's disease in cattle. It has been suggested that M. paratuberculosis may be associated with Crohn's disease, an intestinal disorder, in humans, but this has not been confirmed.
* Yersinia enterocolitica, a bacteria found in ice-cream, can grow at freezing or refrigerator temperature. It can cause an illness with symptoms of fever, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Contamination is believed to be a consequence of a breakdown in sanitization and sterilization techniques at dairy processing facilities.
* Salmonella contamination of raw milk and milk products has been the source of several outbreaks in recent years. Salmonella spp. causes illness that can develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure, and can last 4 to 7 days. Symptoms of Salmonellosis include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, and fever. Most people recover with fluid and electrolyte replacement. Some cases may be severe and require hospitalization. A small number of people may develop Reiter syndrome, which is a reactive arthritis that may affect multiple joints, particularly the knee joint.
* Coliforms are a large group of bacteria that are found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Most coliforms are not pathogenic, but their presence indicates contamination, usually from faecal sources. Coliforms are destroyed by pasteurization. The prevalence of coliforms has been detected in 62 to 95% of raw bulk tank milk.
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