Victorian authorities are issuing a Health Warning to parents after one child died and four suffered serious illness. All have been linked to the consumption of raw milk in Victoria.
Five children have fallen seriously ill after consuming the product, while the death of a 3-year-old has been referred to the coroner for further investigation.
The Victorian health department has issued a warning about consumption of the milk, currently being sold in health food shops for cosmetic purposes.
Chief health officer Rosemary Lester says raw milk, which is marketed as bath milk, can affect the kidneys and the bloodstream, and cause watery diarrhoea if consumed.
“Only a small number of these pathogens are needed to cause illness,” she said. “Unpasteurised milk could make anyone sick but risks were greatest for young children, elderly, pregnant or otherwise unhealthy people. Since the 1940s it has been compulsory to pasteurise cow’s milk in Australia,” Dr Lester said. “Milk is heated for a very short period of time effectively destroying any disease-causing bacteria which may be present in raw milk.”
Dr Lester has referred the matter to Consumer Affairs Victoria and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), saying bath milk packaging was very similar to drinking milk and they could be easily confused.
Consumer Affairs Victoria director Dr Claire Noone says the Consumer Watchdog is now undergoing a review of the marketing of raw milk and will work with the ACCC to determine whether there had been a breach of consumer law.
RIP little one xx