Some foods and drinks are pasteurized. This means heat is used to kill harmful germs that can make you sick. Some of these germs (such as E. coli, Salmonella) are in milk naturally, while others may get into the milk as it’s handled and processed. Raw milk, juice, and cider are often pasteurized.
In Canada, it’s against the law to sell raw (unpasteurized) milk because it’s not safe to drink. But if you have raw milk at home from a cow, goat, or sheep, you can pasteurize it to make it safe to drink.
Germs from raw milk can cause problems like:
You're at higher risk of getting sick from raw milk if you:
1. Clean and sterilize.
2. Heat the milk.
3. Keep the milk at the right temperature.
4. Cool the milk.
Pour the cooled milk into sterilized containers right away. Put the containers in the fridge to cool the milk to 4°C (40°F) or colder.
You can store pasteurized milk in the fridge for 2 weeks. It’s a good idea to label the milk with the date it was pasteurized.
Don’t use the microwave to pasteurize milk, because you can’t control the temperature.
Don't use this method to pasteurize other foods. Other foods may need to be heated to different temperatures to be pasteurized. Call an Environmental Public Health office in your area to ask about how to pasteurize other types of food.
All images on this page provided by Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services.
Current as of: February 24, 2021
Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services
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