Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Viruses in milk and milk products – a hazard for human health?

There are approximately 20 viruses which might be transmitted to humans by contaminated milk or milk products. Among them are milk borne viruses and enteric viruses which could contaminate milk products through process water during manufacture. Because of the lack of relevant data it is very difficult to assess the risk for consumers health. But the fact that the viruses in question are most likely only present in low numbers and that they are not able to multiply in foods lead to the conclusion that milk and milk products are very safe.

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