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Clean Milk and Pasteurisation

    Naturevolume 140page614 (1937) | Download Citation



    DR. G. ARBOUR-STEPHENS, of 61 Walter Road, Swansea, writes, with reference to the article on the nutritive value of pasteurized milk (NATURE, 140, 389 ; 1937), that it is not justifiable to compromise a diminution of value in order to prevent the effects of handling by dirty people. Unfortunately, the problem is scarcely as simple as this: in spite of the greatest care and cleanliness in handling the milk, it cannot always be possible to prevent contamination from organisms which may have produced no obvious illness in the worker himself, but yet may be capable of producing illness in other people, or from organisms which may be disseminated during the incubation period of an infectious disease and before the symptoms have become obvious. To prevent otherwise unavoidable outbreaks of infectious diseases among the consumers of milk is the true function of pasteurization: it is certainly not to be considered as allowing the production of dirty milk, which can then be rendered innocuous before consumption. The aim should surely be the production of clean milk from disease-free herds, with pasteurization to obviate the ill-effects of any lapse in technique, which is bound to happen occasionally considering the many stages through which the milk has to pass under modern conditions before it reaches the consumer, or to prevent the accidental entry of virulent organisms.

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