• Health & Safety

Wise Food Choices for Milk and Dairy



Most milk and sold commercially in the United States contain pasteurized milk or cream, or the products have been produced in a manner that kills any dangerous bacteria that may be present.

But unpasteurized milk and products made from unpasteurized milk sold and may be harmful to your health. To avoid getting sick from the dangerous bacteria found in , you should choose your milk and milk products carefully. Consider these guidelines:

Okay to Eat

  • Pasteurized milk or cream
  • Hard cheeses such as cheddar, and extra hard grating cheeses such as Parmesan
  • Soft cheeses, such as Brie, Camembert, blue-veined eses, and Mexican-style soft cheeses such as Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero, and Queso Blanco made from pasteurized milk
  • Processed cheeses
  • Cream, cottage, and Ricotta cheese made from pasteurized milk
  • Yogurt made from pasteurized milk
  • Pudding made from pasteurized milk
  • Ice cream or yogurt made from pasteurized milk

Unsafe to Eat

  • Unpasteurized milk or
  • Soft cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, and Mexican-style soft cheeses such as Queso Fresco, Panela, Asadero, and Queso Blanco made from unpasteurized milk
  • Yogurt made from unpasteurized milk
  • Pudding made from unpasteurized milk
  • Ice cream or frozen yogurt made from unpasteurized milk

When in Doubt — Ask!

  • Taking a few moments to make sure milk is pasteurized — or that a product isn’t made from raw milk — can protect you or your loved ones from serious illness.
  • Read the label. Safe milk will have the word “pasteurized” on the label. If the word “pasteurized” does not appear on a product’s label, it may contain raw milk.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask your grocer or store clerk whether milk or cream has been pasteurized, especially milk or milk products sold in refrigerated cases at grocery or health stores.
  • Don’t buy milk or milk products at farm stands or farmers’ markets unless you can confirm that it has been pasteurized.

Is Your Homemade Ice Cream Safe?

Each year, homemade ice cream causes serious outbreaks of infection from Salmonella. The ingredient responsible? Raw or undercooked eggs. If you choose to make ice cream at home, use a pasteurized egg product, egg substitute, or pasteurized shell eggs in place of the raw eggs in your favorite recipe. There are also numerous egg-free ice cream recipes available.