Local Farmer Says His Raw Milk Is Safe To Drink

Local Farmer Says His Raw Milk Is Safe To Drink

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Stan Horning sells what's known as "raw" milk.

All that means is, aside from a basic filtration system and a brief cooling process, the milk comes straight from the cow - untreated and unpasteurized.

"Yea, this is milk that's straight from the cow." said Horning, owner of Country Cousins Farm.

But New York state is now cautioning people from drinking this kind of milk.

Raw milk drinkers will tell you that it's a better choice than pasteurized milk because it has helpful probiotics and enzymes that have health benefits and those are removed in the pasteurization process.

But state officials warn that the raw milk can carry harmful bacteria like e. Coli and Salmonella.

"Pasteurization is really important because we know then all the bacteria is killed out of the milk product, and it's not gonna make you sick," said Faith Lustik of Jefferson County Public Health.

Lustik says young children, pregnant women, and people who are in poor health are at the largest risk for these bacterial infections.

Horning says it's all about the process. If the equipment is clean and everything is done correctly, he says raw milk is safe to drink.

"As far as I'm concerned, raw milk is safe as long as it's handled properly," he said.

Horning is licensed by New York state to sell raw milk.

He says the state tests his product once a month and there are strict guidelines on when and where he can sell it.

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