The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) is warning residents not to consume unpasteurized (“raw”) milk due to risks posed by bacterial pathogens, such as campylobacter. The press release, dated September 14, states:
drinking unpasteurised milk is risky because it hasn’t been heat treated to kill any harmful bacteria that might be in the raw product, such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter and Listeria monocytogenes.
NZFSA also explains why “raw” milk is so risky.
It is very easy for harmful bacteria to get into raw milk during the milking process. They can cross into milk while it is still in the udder (via unrecognised mastitis) or milk can be contaminated from the dairy farm environment during milking. Once contaminated, raw milk is not subjected to any step between collection and consumption that will rid milk of the harmful bacteria; unlike pasteurised milk, which receives a heat treatment that kills them.