Irish survey confirms raw milk risk

| March 10, 2015 Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported the results of a microbiological survey of bacterial pathogens in raw milk and in-line filters used in milking equipment.

The results show that 7% of raw milk samples contained Listeria monocytogenes, while 3% were contaminated with Campylobacter. However, detection rates in the milk filters were much higher at 20% and 22% respectively, revealing a significant potential for raw milk contamination.

Salmonella was present in 1% of milk filters and 0.5% of raw milk samples, while a vero-cytotoxigenic strain of E. coli (O26) was isolated from 6% of the raw milk filters tested and therefore also has the potential to contaminate milk.

The FSAI acknowledges that on-farm hygiene and animal health have improved greatly, but points out that good hygiene practice can never eliminate the risk from milk borne pathogens. It recommends that consumers should avoid raw milk, or boil it before consumption.

The surveillance report can be downloaded in PDF form here.

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