Raw milk can cause serious illness says EFSA
THE Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) have reiterated that, in their opinion, people should not consume raw milk.
Professor Alan Reilly, CEO, of the FSAI said: “The risks far outweigh any perceived benefits”.
The statement comes on foot of a report published today by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that mirrored his message.
Prof Reilly added that it has been the organisation’s opinion for some time that pasteurisation is the most reliable and the most acceptable method to ensure safe milk consumption.
“In recent months, we have studied reports from different parts of the world which show that children are at real risk when drinking raw milk.”
He highlighted media coverage from Australia where one child died and others were hospitalised. All these cases have been linked to the consumption of raw milk. Closer to home, in the UK, six cases of E. coli including five cases in children were linked to farms selling raw milk from cows late last year.
“We’re concerned about the food safety risks involved and particularly the health of infants, children, older adults, pregnant women and those with low immunity. Studies show these groups are the most likely to get ill from drinking raw milk and to suffer the most severe symptoms,” he said.
The EFSA’s announcement states that good hygiene at farm level was key in reducing risks. But the group added that boiling raw milk before consumption was the best way to kill bacteria that could make people sick.
The science bit
Pathogens such as E. coli O157 (VTEC), Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria can cause severe foodborne illnesses and can be found in raw milk. These bacteria can be particularly serious for vulnerable groups such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and the immune-compromised.
Both national and international studies have found that these harmful bacteria can be present in raw milk in low numbers and that pasteurisation or boiling can effectively eliminate the risk of potential food poisoning.
The EFSA report
The full report from the European Food Safety Authority can be accessed at the following link:
What are the risks?
My Purple Chair
The My Purple Chair title was born from my favourite place to sit and think about what's happening in the world. It's old but comfortable. So i suppose it's a bit like myself!