Woman fined $53,000 for raw milk sales

Dairy News Australia - - AROUND THE REGIONS -

A WOMAN has been fined a to­tal of $28,000 and or­dered to pay pro­fes­sional costs of $25,000 af­ter she pleaded guilty to four charges re­lat­ing to the sale of un­pas­teurised or ‘raw’ milk.

Ju­lia Ruth McKay from Bun­go­nia was fined last month for sell­ing un­pas­teurised milk and for con­duct­ing a food busi­ness with­out a li­cence.

She also pleaded guilty to sell­ing un­pas­teurised milk that ex­ceeded ac­cept­able mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal lim­its for stan­dard plate counts and Lis­te­ria.

NSW Food Author­ity CEO Dr Lisa Sz­abo said Food Author­ity of­fi­cers found that Ms McKay was op­er­at­ing a ‘herd shar­ing’ busi­ness whereby a per­son en­ters into a con­tract and pur­chase shares in a herd or in­di­vid­ual cow and con­se­quently re­ceives raw milk pro­duced by that herd.

“Claims that this doesn’t con­sti­tute the sale of food are false, the op­er­a­tion of a herd share ar­range­ment can con­sti­tute food for sale un­der the Food Act,” Dr Sz­abo said.

“Milk for sale in NSW needs to be li­censed with the NSW Food Author­ity to en­sure it is sub­ject to the strin­gent safety re­quire­ments of the Dairy Food Safety Scheme.”

Dr Sz­abo said statis­tics show that raw milk is a high food safety risk.

“Na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally raw milk prod­ucts ac­count for a small pro­por­tion of sales but a very large pro­por­tion of out­breaks,” she said.

“Un­pas­teurised milk could con­tain harm­ful bac­te­ria such as E.coli, Sal­monella and Lis­te­ria that can re­sult in ill­ness or even death.

“This is why we un­der­take this ac­tion, to pro­tect peo­ple.”

The pros­e­cu­tion re­sulted from an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Ms McKay by the NSW Food Author­ity in 2015 where sam­ples of raw milk taken from an an­i­mal that was part of her herd share ar­range­ment re­turned pos­i­tive for the pres­ence of Lis­te­ria.

The op­er­a­tion was im­me­di­ately shut down by the NSW Food Author­ity and the Pro­hi­bi­tion Or­der re­mains in place.

Dr Sz­abo said the NSW Food Author­ity is con­tin­u­ing its work in this area of il­le­gal un­der the counter sales of raw milk. Those sell­ing raw milk in NSW can be re­ported to the NSW Food Author­ity on 1300 552 406.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.