Unpasteurised milk linked to gastro incidents

Quality control
issues at milk manufacturing facilities have been linked to the rising number
of gastroenteritis cases across the country. Up to five cases
of gastroenteritis illness in children have been attributed to consumption
of unpasteurised milk labelled as bath or cosmetic milk.

Pasteurisation of
milk has been compulsory in Australia since the 1940s. The process essentially
involves heating the milk for a short period of time to destroy any
disease-causing bacteria
present in the raw milk. If the milk is not heated
to the right temperature, the bacteria can grow and develop before the
product reaches the customer.

Cosmetic milk is unpasteurised
milk used for cosmetic purposes, but the packaging is very similar to drinking
milk, resulting in children accidentally consuming the milk.

Victoria’s Chief
Health Officer Dr Rosemary Lester said this highlighted the importance of only
drinking pasteurised milk. She explained that consuming unpasteurised milk
increases the risk of contracting gastrointestinal illness because it can
contain pathogens such as Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, shiga toxin-producing
E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes.

According to Dr
Lester, while everyone is vulnerable to illness caused by the pathogens present
in raw milk, the risks are even greater for young children and the elderly, as
well as those with underlying health problems, or are immunocompromised or
pregnant.

Dr Lester summarised
that there have been three cases of Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) and
two cases of cryptosporidiosis. HUS is a rare but serious condition caused by
bacteria that affects the kidneys and the bloodstream, while cryptosporidiosis
is a parasitic infection that commonly presents as gastroenteritis with watery
diarrhoea.

While dairy farmers
and milk manufacturers can’t guarantee that dairy products will be free from
harmful bacteria, manufacturers can ensure their processes and systems are
up-to-date so that the milk is of the highest standard and they meet the strong
regulations and rules around milk production.

testo offers a stainless steel mini thermometer suitable
for checking foodstuffs. The mini thermometer can be used in solid or powdery
substances as well as liquids.

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