The Food Standards Agency believes that everyone should be able to make an informed choice about the food and/or drink that they consume. Being aware and understanding some associated risks can further support healthy living.
Raw milk has not been pasteurised (heat treated) and can be from numerous animals (sheep, goats, buffalo and horses). Raw cows milk is most common and can be sold lawfully (with legal conditions imposed) in England. The risks associated with consumption are controversial and critics claim the health benefits outweigh the health risks. Sales are banned in some areas (eg. Scotland). In England, sales are permitted with Local Authority approval and accordingly, raw milk carries a health warning, to advise of the risks.
Raw milk can be made in to other products, such as unpasteurised cheese, milkshake, ice cream, butter and kefir. Products like ice cream and milkshake attract consumption by younger customers who can be particularly vulnerable. Raw milk consumption is not advised by children, the elderly or persons with long term health issues or compromised immunity.
Read more about raw milk consumption on the Food Standards Agency website.
General Consumer Advice
Always check labels attached to food products and follow manufacturers instructions. Before ordering from a café, restaurant or takeaway, ensure sufficient enquiries are made about the dish and its suitability for your consumption. Always follow government guidance on foods that have an implication of greater risk. Follow specific advice if certain foods are intended for certain risk groups or individuals. Consumption and sourcing of food for/by the young, the elderly, mums to be, those who are immuno-compromised or suffering certain illnesses should always be with care.
Finally, always check the food hygiene rating of a business before ordering. The National Food Hygiene Ratings are available to assist you in making an informed choice.
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