A raw milk producer in New Zealand has issued a recall after three people fell sick.

Lindsay Farm HB recalled some batches of its branded organic raw milk as the product may contain Campylobacter.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said three associated illnesses had been reported. The agency advised people who had consumed any of the implicated products and had concerns about their health to seek medical advice.

Raw, or unpasteurized, drinking milk was sold in a plastic 2-liter bottle. Affected items have lot numbers 2310, 2410, 2510, 2610, 2710, 2810, 2910, 3010, 3110, 0111, and 0211. Use-by dates range from Oct. 27 to Nov. 5, 2023. It was sold in the Hawke’s Bay region via home deliveries and several registered depots.

MPI urged anyone who had purchased the affected product not to consume it and to return it to the retailer for a refund. It can be consumed after heating to 70 degrees C (158 degrees F) and held at this temperature for one minute.

From 2019 to mid-2023, 10 outbreaks in New Zealand were associated with people drinking raw milk.

In 2022, Lindsay Farm was fined for not following rules around the sale and supply of raw milk. The company said it didn’t initially sign up for the raw milk legislation because of restrictions around distribution. A Campylobacter outbreak was linked to milk from the company in August 2020. After this, they registered under the regulations.

Annual report highlights
MPI has also published its annual report for 2022 to 2023. Overall, 156 food recalls were managed by New Zealand Food Safety in 2022/23.

Two significant incidents were Hepatitis A in frozen berries and Salmonella in tahini. Between June 2022 and July 2023, there was a Hepatitis A outbreak with 39 confirmed cases due to people eating frozen berries. There was a link between cases and frozen berries from Serbia.

In February and June 2023, Salmonella was detected in products containing tahini imported from Turkey and Jordan. New Zealand Food Safety supported 13 businesses in taking consumer-level recalls. Fifty-four products containing tahini were removed from distribution and consumers’ homes. No salmonellosis cases were confirmed connected to the incident. New Zealand plans to strengthen controls and oversight for companies importing crushed sesame seed-based products.

New Zealand is also trying to reduce the rate of foodborne campylobacteriosis per 100,000 people. The target is a 20 percent reduction from 87 to 69 per 100,000 people annually by 2026. The notification rate for 2022 was 81 cases per 100,000 people.

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