Longhill Farms is recalling raw, unpasteurized milk in New Zealand because it has been found to be contaminated with Campylobacter bacteria.
The product is sold in 1 liter or 2 liter glass bottles or in customer supplied containers. Affected products have batch numbers: D-0608 to D-1508 inclusive and use-by dates of Aug. 10 to Aug. 19, inclusive.
It was sold from a vending machine at Longhill Farms in Kawakawa, Northland, and is not exported. There have been no reports of illness. Customers are advised to return the products to Longhill Farms for a full refund.
Milk goes from the cow into a refrigerated vat where it is chilled down to under 4 degrees C, according to Longhill Farms’ website.
“To ensure the freshness and good quality, our milk is tested by Fonterra, MilkTestNZ & Eurofins daily, every 10 days, or seasonal if required. All tests are also monitored by AsureQuality,” according to the farm operators.
From March 2016 in New Zealand, registered farmers have been required to sell raw milk directly from the farm gate or by home delivery. Collection points are no longer allowed. The government is scheduled to review the raw milk policy in November this year, two years after full implementation, to ensure it is working effectively.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand says raw unpasteurized milk from any animal may be contaminated with bacteria such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Listeria and Campylobacter.
Between 2009 and 2016 there were 46 outbreaks where consuming raw milk was a risk factor. At least 70 percent involved children, ranging from 1 to 16 years old. Of those outbreaks, 28 were caused by Campylobacter and four by STEC.
MPI said raw milk is risky for anybody but some groups are especially vulnerable, including young children and babies, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
Recommendations for those who choose to consume raw milk or serve it to children or other people include:
Keep it chilled while transporting it home from the farm;
Keep it in the coldest part of your fridge, usually the lower levels are 4 degrees C or cooler;
Throw out if it’s been left out for two or more hours;
When you want to drink your raw milk, heat it until just boiling or to 70 degrees C for one minute before drinking it;
Drink it by the use-by date;
If you’re serving raw milk to friends or visitors, make sure to let them know the risks; and
Buy raw milk only from a registered supplier. From November 2016 forward, producers who sell raw unpasteurized milk have been required to register with MPI.