Life Wellbeing Watchdog cracks down on raw milk after toddler dies

Watchdog cracks down on raw milk after toddler dies

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The consumer affairs watchdog has asked a small raw milk company to recall its unpasteurised products.

A Victorian toddler recently died and four other children fell ill as a result of consuming raw milk.

It is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption in Australia, but the ban did not apply to the company because it marketed the milk as being “bath milk” for cosmetic purposes only.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has asked the company to voluntarily recall the product.

“Mountain View Farm Organic Bath Milk has been linked to a number of recent health concerns in young children after being used as a substitute for regular pasteurised milk,” the ACCC’s Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said in a statement.

“The message from health agencies is clear: do not drink unpasteurised milk.

“If you have this product, do not drink it in any circumstances.”

On its Facebook page, Mountain View Farm asked customers to either throw away the milk or return it for a refund.

It also offered condolences to the family of the child who died.

“We are a small family business, and as a mother of three children my heart goes out to the family that have lost their precious child and the unbearable pain they must be going through,” wrote owner Vicki Jones.

“While we appreciate there has been a lot of speculation in the media, a lot of people jumping to conclusions, it is important that we wait for the coroner’s findings,” Ms Jones said.

Ms Jones had previously defended their product following the death of the three-year-old on the Mornington Peninsula, saying she drank the milk herself and that it was clearly labelled as not for human consumption.

Victoria’s chief health officer Rosemary Lester has warned anyone against drinking unpasteurised cow’s milk.

It is impossible to sterilise milk without heating it for a short time to kill harmful bacteria, Dr Lester said.

Regulators are considering whether raw milk labels mislead customers.