'Bath milk' stripped from shelves in food safety crackdown

Tuesday, 15 December, 2015

The NSW Government has stripped raw milk marketed as ‘cosmetic’ or ‘bath’ milk from the shelves of a number of Sydney health food shops following recent inspections.

As part of ongoing actions to address the sale of raw milk, the NSW Food Authority has seized approximately 68 litres of unpasteurised dairy products in the Sydney area.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said retailers are on notice that claims the product is used for bathing will not wash.

“While there are no food businesses in NSW licensed by the NSW Food Authority to produce raw milk for cosmetic purposes, we know that some retailing businesses are sourcing this product from elsewhere to sell it,” Blair said.

“Raw milk is a high food safety risk — the sale of raw milk for human consumption is illegal in Australia, and this kind of farcical deception won’t be tolerated. It was apparent to the NSW Food Authority that the sale of raw milk products at these premises was not for cosmetic reasons.”

Unpasteurised milk contains harmful bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria that can result in illness or even death. Results from samples taken from the recent product seizures showed elevated levels of E.coli present.

The NSW Government says random checks of retailers will continue, with raw milk to be seized.

Another area of focus is the practice of ‘herd sharing’, where a person purchases shares in a herd or individual cow to receive raw milk produced by that herd.

The operation of a herd share arrangement can constitute food for sale under the Food Act 2003. Milk for sale in NSW needs to be licensed with the NSW Food Authority to ensure it is subject to the safety requirements of the Dairy Food Safety Scheme.

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