Taygan Yilmaz

Date of Award



Unpasteurized (also called raw or farm-fresh) milk is currently banned in more than half of all U.S. states. There is substantial controversy over whether unpasteurized milk is safe for human consumption. Although less than 1% of the total U.S. population is known to consume these products, proponents of raw milk claim that unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses are more nutritive than pasteurized milk and soft cheeses. However, there have been a multitude of disease outbreaks linked to raw milk and soft cheese consumption, which involved pathogens including Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes. While some believe an outright ban would help abate the incidence of unpasteurized milk and cheese outbreaks, many believe imposing a ban on such products is an infringement on one‘s freedom of choice. If a ban were imposed, it would pose a variety of problems for key stakeholders, such as state agriculture departments, dairy farmers, and raw milk and cheese consumers. Given these considerations, providing education to dairy producers and consumers and implementing the use of warning labels on unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses are the most effective ways for the state agriculture departments to decrease the consumption of these products and thus prevent illness.