Food Law News - UK - 1997

3 November 1997: MILK - Ban on Raw Cows' Drinking Milk Advised

MAFF News Release (332/97), 3 November 1997

Ban on Raw Cows' Drinking Milk Advised

Sales of raw cows' milk for drinking could be stopped following advice from independent scientists on the Advisory Committee for the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF).

Raw cows' milk can contain harmful bacteria that could lead to food poisoning. After considering surveillance data on raw cows' milk the ACMSF concluded that the sale of raw cows' milk for drinking should be banned. The sale of such milk has been banned in Scotland since 1983.

Acting on the ACMSF's advice the Government proposes to stop the sale of raw cows' milk for drinking. A letter of consultation has been issued today.

Food Safety Minister Jeff Rooker said:
"Protecting consumers is our number one priority. The advice of the ACMSF is that this measure will protect consumers. We have acted on that advice. There is no reason why consumers should be exposed to this risk. The use of raw milk to make speciality cheeses will not be affected."

The ACMSF also recommended that surveillance should be undertaken on the microbiological status of raw drinking milk from sheep and goats. This work will be undertaken shortly.

Responses to the consultation should be sent, by 19 January 1998.

The News Release also contains the following notes:

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