FSA Board agrees restrictions on raw milk should remain

The FSA Board met to discuss the findings of the comprehensive review of the regulations that control the sale of unpasteurised, or raw, drinking milk.

The review concluded that:

  • the risk associated with raw drinking milk consumption, except for vulnerable groups, is acceptable when appropriate hygiene controls are applied
  • the current restriction on sales of raw milk should remain in place as there is uncertainty that consumer protection can be maintained if the market for raw milk is expanded
  • risk communication could be improved, particularly for vulnerable groups, and changes to the labelling requirements are proposed to reflect this

The Board accepted the conclusions of the review.  However, they noted concerns that consumers should be more aware of the risks and asked that the FSA be clear in its advice not to drink raw milk.

The Board noted reports of non-compliance in the industry and agreed that supporting improvements in compliance should be a focus for FSA action.

In a development to the FSA’s approach to the control of ‘risky’ foods, the Board agreed that we will now identify triggers relating to outbreaks, detection of pathogens in raw drinking milk samples, and changes in the retail market for raw drinking milk that would require a further discussion of risks and controls. This will be facilitated by regular reporting of compliance in this sector to the Board.

The FSA reviewed the current controls to make sure they are clear, consistent and control the public health risks associated with raw milk. The review covered England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Sale of raw drinking milk is banned in Scotland.

The consultation considered a number of options. These ranged from removing restrictions on sales through to introducing a requirement for all milk to be pasteurised prior to sale.

(Source: FSA Website)

FSA UK – Scotland – Several batches recalled for concerns about Clostridium botulinum

Mrs Unis Spicy Foods has recalled batches of its modified atmosphere packed products because of concerns about procedures to control Clostridium botulinum. The FSA has issued a Product Recall Information Notice in Scotland.

The effectiveness of process controls that could potentially affect the safety of modified atmosphere packed products produced by Mrs Unis Spicy Foods cannot be demonstrated satisfactorily. The issue relates to ensuring sufficient controlling factors to prevent the growth and toxin production of the bacterium known as Clostridium botulinum. This may cause a serious form of food poisoning called botulism.

There is not enough evidence to show that the products are safe. This means the company is recalling batches of its products as a precautionary measure.

Product details

Packs of the following products that have a ‘use by’ date of 24 March 2015 are being recalled:

  • Chicken Pakora Bites, 180g
  • Chicken Pakora Strips, 320g
  • Chicken Tikka Bites, 180g
  • Haggis Pakora, 200g
  • Onion Pakora, 200g
  • Vegetable Pakora, 180g
  • Onion Bhaji, 180g

Packs of the following products that have a ‘use by’ date of up to and including 8 April 2015 are being recalled:

  • 6 Vegetable Pakora, 250g
  • 6 Mini Onion Bhajees, 250g
  • Snack Pack, 250g

Mrs Unis Spicy Foods has recalled all affected batches. Point-of-sale notices are being produced for businesses supplied with affected batches. No other Mrs Unis Spicy Foods products are known to be affected.

Consumers are advised not to consume these products. Instead, any product should be returned to the store from where it was bought or should be disposed.

(Source: FSA website)