ONE OF THE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS in decreasing mortality among children during the past century has been the recognition of the role that contaminated milk played in the production of various gastrointestinal disorders. For several decades it has been generally accepted that all milk-mixtures should be sterilized before being fed to infants. Recently, however, the question has been raised regarding the feasibility of preparing individual bottles of milk mixtures using clean but not sterilized ingredients and placing them in unsterilized equipment. Although there is no practical method of processing and preparing milk mixtures so that sterility is assured in every bottle, the increased susceptibility of infants to diarrheal diseases and the severity of diarrheas and dysenteries in early infancy make, it obligatory to take every effort to guarantee that all food fed to infants during the first months of life should be prepared by the safest possible method.
It has been shown that the terminal method of heating will destroy most pathogenic bacteria and viruses and is probably the best means now available for preparing milk mixtures for infant feeding, but even this method permits certain organisms (particularly spore-forming bacteria and a few viruses) to survive, especially when unclean equipment containing milk scum is used to prepare and store the mixture.
It has also been shown that most mothers can prepare milk mixtures satisfactorily at home by any of several different methods; the bacterial count in resultant mixtures varied inversely with the care and cleanliness exercised by mothers, so that the counts occasionally reached potentially unsafe levels.
The use of a technique of formula preparation that does not necessitate sterilization of equipment or ingredients might be a great boon to busy mothers.
- Copyright © 1961 by the American Academy of Pediatrics