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Chief Health Officer warns against consuming raw milk

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has urged Queenslanders not to drink raw (unpasteurised) milk as it is unfit for human consumption.

Dr Young said that raw milk was sold in Australia as a cosmetic product, usually as ‘bath milk’.

“As bath milk is not for human consumption it is not a food and therefore not bound by the labelling requirements of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code,” Dr Young said.

“All unpasteurised milk products in Australia are required to be labelled with a statement to the effect that the product has not been pasteurised and is not for human consumption.  

“People who do consume unpasteurised milk are at increased risk of infection due to pathogens in the milk that are capable of causing severe illness and potentially death.

“For this reason, I would also not recommend people bathe in the milk.”

Dr Young said she supported calls for unpasteurised milk to be banned and, at the very least, believed it should be sold in child-proof packaging.

“I have previously issued warnings about consuming this product, and it has been proven that the risks are substantial,” Dr Young said.

The pasteurisation of milk and manufacturing of other dairy produce in Queensland is administered by Safe Food Production Queensland (a statutory authority of the Queensland Government primary industries portfolio) under the Food Production (Safety) Act 2000.   

Milk is regulated by the dairy food safety scheme via Food Production (Safety) Regulation 2002.

Last updated: 11 December 2014