4 Nov 2015

Raw milk warning after spike in illnesses

9:16 am on 4 November 2015

The risks of consuming raw milk have been highlighted again after a spike in the number of people falling ill after drinking it.

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Raw milk is not pasteurised, or heat treated, to kill bacteria like Campylobacter and Salmonella.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said in the past two months 13 people had become sick after drinking raw milk - nine in Auckland and four in Northland.

MPI said no matter how careful the farmer was milking the cows, there was always a risk harmful bacteria could get into the milk, and it was urging pregnant women, young children and the elderly, or those with weak immune systems, not to drink raw milk.

Earlier this year, the government announced a raft of new regulations on the sale and purchase of the milk, which some believe can help with asthma, eczema and lactose intolerance.