Food is good but do you know what is better? Safe food! The average Ghanaian breakfast table has a milky taste to it. Be it tea, maize porridge, rice porridge, oats, tom brown or boarding school’s favorite, gari soakings, there is a huge possibility milk will be in there somewhere. Most of these delicacies are prepared using pasteurized milk which isn’t our focus for today. Our focus however is unpasteurized or raw milk.

Did You Know?
‘Brukina’ and ‘Wagaashi’ are one of the tastiest milk delicacies the Ghanaian market can boast of. With an envious nutritional content, it is known to satisfy the pangs in the stomachs of many Ghanaians.
The main ingredient in these delicacies is milk, some pasteurized and some otherwise. Raw milk is milk that hasn’t been pasteurized to kill potentially harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and E. coli that can cause severe illness. In an interview with Rite FM, Dr. Ahmed Tijane, the medical Superintendent at Akuse Government Hospital stated that these bacteria have the ability to cause severe illnesses like vomiting, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. In more serious cases, they may even cause death.

Pasteurization is the process of heat processing a liquid or a food to kill pathogenic bacteria to make the food safe to eat. The use of pasteurization to kill pathogenic bacteria has helped reduce the transmission of diseases, such as typhoid fever, tuberculosis, scarlet fever, polio, and dysentery (Food Safety Site.com)

The average Ghanaian has a bit of superstitious beliefs embedded in his or her subconscious and so it is not surprising that there are some myths, widely held but false beliefs or ideas about consuming raw milk.

Misconceptions of Raw Milk
The US Department of Health and Human Services debunks some misconceptions about raw milk:
• Raw milk does not cure lactose intolerance
• Raw milk does not cure or treat asthma and allergy
• Raw milk is not more effective in preventing osteoporosis than pasteurized milk
• There are no beneficial bacteria in raw milk for gastrointestinal health
• Raw milk is not an immune system building food and is particularly unsafe for children
• There are no immunoglobulin’s in raw milk that enhance the human immune system
• There are no additional protease and lipases in raw milk that facilitate milk digestion
• Raw milk is not nutritionally superior to pasteurized milk
• Raw milk does not contain natural antimicrobial components that make milk safe
• Raw milk does not contain nisin for pathogen inhibition
• Folate binding protein (FBP) is not denatured during pasteurization and folate utilization is not reduced in pasteurized milk

For further study kindly visit the link
Buy, Store & Serve Safe Food > Raw Milk Misconceptions and the Danger of Raw Milk Consumption https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm247991.htm

Regulating Unpasteurized Milk
In an interview on Rite FM’s Food Safety Nutrition & Hygiene, Mr. Eric Darko a regulatory officer with the Food and Drugs Authority stated that the costs of registering and certifying food labels deterred the public from obtaining the food handlers certificate. He called for the sellers of these delicacies to come freely to the FDA for registration and certification.
He also admonished the various media houses to verify that the adverts they air have been approved by the FDA. The Food and Drugs Authority called for the support of the general public to help them execute their work excellently.

The Consumer
The consumer bears the responsibility to ensure his or her safety. Kindly verify the pasteurization status of your milk product to be safe. We are in no means suggesting milk delicacies are unsafe but if they are prepared with unpasteurized milk, then some unwanted effects should be expected. It is important we are careful with selecting the type of milk we buy due to the different conditions under which it’s being processed (or not). Food is good but do you know what is better? Safe food!


About Youu Twum

One comment

  1. Richmond Nyantakyi

    For someone like me who is a big fan of Burkina, how do I if the milk used was pasteurized or not. I mean no thief will tell you I’m a thief.

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