Retail move to change milk pasteurisation times ineffective.
Claim about milk pasteurisation contradicted by scientific evidence.
The British supermarket giants Tesco, Sainsbury and Safeway have today announced that milk pasteurisation time will be increased from 15 seconds to 25 seconds to reassure the public that their products do not contain Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis(MAP), a bacterium that has been linked to Crohn's disease, a chronic Inflammatory Bowel Disease that affects 80,000 people in the United Kingdom.
However, the retail chains claim that the new pasteurisation conditions will eliminate MAP is contradicted by available scientific evidence.
The time necessary to eliminate MAP from milk depends on the number of bacteria in that milk. See table below for the pasteurisation times necessary to eliminate MAP.
The numbers of MAP bacteria present in milk from cattle with Johne's disease can be as high as 1 million bacteria per millilitre or more, as a result of faecal contamination of milk.
Cattle with Johne's disease suffer from severe liquid diarrhoea, which sprays over the rear ends of their bodies, including the udders, leading to faecal contamination of their milk. Infected cattle can shed up to 100 million MAP bacteria per millilitre.
To effectively eliminate the levels of MAP that can be present in milk from infected cattle requires a pasteurisation time of 70 seconds or higher.
Since the numbers of MAP in milk can be even higher than 1 million bacteria per millilitre, the only method of ensuring that live MAP bacteria are not present in milk is to prevent milk from infected cattle from reaching the human food chain.
For a discussion of milk pasteurization and MAP, see the PARA document MAP in retail dairy products.
For further information contact
Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.is a non-profit organization of Crohn's disease patients, their families and friends who are dedicated to the following goals:
Paratuberculosis Awareness and Research Association, Inc.
Temple Terrace, FL 33687-6219
Source: http://www.crohns.org/media/pr120898.htm Contact PARA: http://www.crohns.org/contact.htm
Paratuberculosis Awareness & Research Association