Primary Industries

MPI cracks down on unregistered raw milk suppliers

The Ministry for Primary Industries is cracking down on unregistered suppliers of raw drinking milk it says are putting consumer health at risk.

Following a year-long operation, the ministry (MPI) raided eight non-compliant suppliers in six regions around the country yesterday.

MPI Food Compliance manager Melinda Sando said the purpose of the site visits was to gather evidence of offending and to allow further investigation of non-compliant sales.

Unpasteurised milk which hasn't been heat treated carried more risk of food poisoning, and has been linked to more serious complications.

Sando said MPI isn't suggesting people can't drink raw unpasteurised milk, but suppliers have to be registered with the ministry to ensure they are managing risks.

"There have been multiple instances in the past of people getting sick after drinking raw milk from some of these suppliers. We can't let this continue."

Sando said businesses had been using various tactics in an attempt to continue selling their product, including selling the raw product as bath or pet milk.

"These tactics are not legal in our view and are a way of getting around the regulations and avoiding the costs associated with being compliant including food safety testing costs, registration costs and audit costs.

"We make no apologies for holding to account people who are breaching the regulations. The rules exist for a reason - to protect human health," Sando said.

Currently, there are 24 raw milk suppliers registered with MPI.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

Help us create a sustainable future for independent local journalism

As New Zealand moves from crisis to recovery mode the need to support local industry has been brought into sharp relief.

As our journalists work to ask the hard questions about our recovery, we also look to you, our readers for support. Reader donations are critical to what we do. If you can help us, please click the button to ensure we can continue to provide quality independent journalism you can trust.

Comments

Newsroom does not allow comments directly on this website. We invite all readers who wish to discuss a story or leave a comment to visit us on Twitter or Facebook. We also welcome your news tips and feedback via email: contact@newsroom.co.nz. Thank you.

With thanks to our partners