Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Regarding Raw Milk Consumption in the Pacific Northwest

John Paul Bigouette, Jeffrey W. Bethel, Marit L. Bovbjerg, Joy G. Waite-Cusic, Claudia C. Häse, Keith P. Poulsen Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 104-110, Mar 2018 Volume 38, Issue 2: Pages 104–110

Currently, the majority of foodborne outbreaks associated with milk products are due to the consumption of raw milk. Relatively little knowledge is available as to why consumers choose to drink raw milk instead of pasteurized milk. To determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices related to raw milk consumption, a survey was performed using questionnaires distributed via online ads targeting users in the Paci c Northwest. Descriptive statistics were generated to characterize the study population and bivariate analyses were performed to determine differences in knowledge, attitudes and practices among identi ed consumption groups (i.e., current, former, never). We further identi ed current consumers as exclusive or non-exclusive. A total of 227 questionnaires were completed. Former raw milk consumers most often cited convenience (35.8%) as the reason for not consuming raw milk. Current raw milk consumers most often cited the reason for drinking raw milk as taste (72.4%) and perceived holistic health bene ts (67.2%). Also, 67.9% of current consumers reported not trusting state health of cials’ recommendations regarding food safety. Raw milk consumers, particularly those who consume raw milk exclusively, reported health bene ts and concerns about the safety of pasteurized milk as reasons for consuming raw milk, providing themes for future interventions to address.

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