Boil Your Milk Or you are Prone to Zoonotic Diseases, Warns NDRI
CHENNAI: Think twice before consuming raw milk. Researchers have found that raw milk could have some harmful bacteria which could result in diseases, says National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) vice-chancellor and director A K Srivastava.
Talking to reporters after delivering the inaugural address of XXXIV Annual conference of Society of Toxicology (India) 2014 on the topics ‘Challenges and Strategies in Toxicology for Food Safety’ and ‘Drug Development – Regulatory perspectives in Livestock’ on Tuesday, Srivastava said that milk borne zoonotic disease ( disease that can be passed between animals and humans) is on the rise.
He said diary technologists are concerned about persistence of micro-organisms in dairy food. According to NDRI data, micro-organisms like E-coli and mycobacterium paratuberculi can survive for several weeks in frozen foods and several micro-organisms isolated from dairy milk are found to be resistant to fourth generation of antibiotics.
He also highlighted the lack of awareness among milk producing community about the zoonotic diseases. He said if a lactating cow is injected with antibiotics, the milk should not be consumed for a stipulated period of time. “But no one follows this norm,” he said.
He also highlighted the rise in TB cases being spread from cattle to humans. This happens mostly through mycobacterium bovis. It is learnt that prevalence of bovine TB in India varies from 1.6 per cent to 16 per cent in cattle and three to 25 per cent in buffalos.
He said currently most of the epidemics like Rota virus and Ebola has its origin from eating meat. He said spread of Ebola was due to eating of chimpanzee meat while Rota virus spread is also linked to consumption of meat. These are mostly zoonotic diseases, he said.
He said there are 1,407 pathogens of which 816 are from human origin. Interestingly, in the last two decades 70 per cent of organisms causing emerging and re-emerging diseases in humans have been from animal origin, said Srivastava.
He said Entric Hemorrhagic is an important disease causing organism found in milk and animal products. In India there is not enough data but in United States it is found to be prevalent.
He also cited the importance of child’s nutrition in the first 1,000 days. Studies validate that malnutrition could contribute to 70 per cent of the spread of zoonotic and infectious diseases. He also stressed the need for having strong food safety laws as prevalent in US and Europe.