If you have pasteurized milk that is steamed for lattes, could that end up making you sick? The steaming seems to occur at a high temperature.

  • 4
    Why would the high temperature of steaming make you sick if the milk was already pasteurized (also at high temperature)? Is it pasteurized milk that is old and you're steaming it to fix it, or are you asking if the steaming itself makes the milk bad?
    – SourDoh
    Mar 14, 2014 at 14:02
  • I'm agreed with sourd'oh on this one. I think we could use some additional details. Are you asking if the steaming itself could make you sick? Or are you asking if otherwise bad milk can be made "safe" via steaming?
    – Preston
    Apr 2, 2014 at 14:37
  • I think this is about overheating the milk to a point where it is partially carbonized :) Jan 23, 2018 at 16:32

4 Answers 4


No, there is nothing about raising otherwise-safe milk rapidly to a high temperature that is going to make you sick. Unless you are already lactose intolerant or otherwise allergic to milk. Raising milk rapidly to a temperature above the danger zone (140 F / 60 C) is going to make it safer, not less safe.


As a general rule, and assuming that there is no underlying medical condition, merely drinking heated milk will not make you sick. However, I have heard this assertion around the coffee shop from the Ethiopian ex-pats who frequent it.

Apparently; their tradition dictates that they eat something with their lattes, lest the milk make their stomachs blow up. When asked, one of them told me that the same did not apply to milk that had not been heated.



You can certainly heat almost anything, including milk, to the point where it tastes terrible. And you can heat some things to the point where they will make you sick, but milk isn't one of them.



I had two latte today on a fairly empty stomach at the coffee shop - now I usually have black coffee, but today I thought I'd have latte.

Afterwards and during, my belly swelled up, I could not STOP FARTING ! ...it was very very uncomfortable, I also got terrible stomach cramps.

Then around an hour later I feel very shaky and sick.

Can heated milk in latte make you ill, ABSOLUTELY !

...I have heard a rumour that you should eat something with a latte - but to be honest, my experience today with coffee and heated milk has put me off latte for LIFE !

  • 2
    We like science. There are many things that could have made you sick the day you had 2 lattes. The other answers assert that there is nothing in warm milk that would make you any sicker than cold milk would. Your anecdote does not disprove that assertion. Dec 30, 2016 at 22:33
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    Sounds more like lactose intolerance (which happens regardless of the dairy temperature) exacerbated by an empty stomach and irritation of caffeine. Food poisoning has very different symptoms.
    – Erica
    Dec 31, 2016 at 2:43

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