Hawaii’s meals security company embargoed to extend uncooked milk gross sales from the islands

State and local health officials went on for months with no other concern than the pandemic. But this summer they find the time and staff to work on other public health issues.

Hawaii, for example, has an embargo on unpasteurized goat milk. The Food Safety Department of the Hawaiian Department of Health found that numerous pet stores on O’ahu sell raw goat milk.

Hawaiian retailers and restaurants are only allowed to purchase Grade A pasteurized milk and dairy products.

Raw milk is not safe for human consumption. On July 1, the food safety department found about 20 O’ahu pet stores selling raw milk. Under the embargo, pet stores or other retailers of raw milk in their possession were fined up to $ 10,000 a day unless they took the raw goat milk off sale and destroyed the product.

The pet stores called the raw goat milk “pet food”, but it was diverted for human consumption. According to Peter Oshiro, chief of the food safety department, many Hawaiians “mistakenly” believe that drinking raw milk is healthy, but that’s just not true.

Drinking raw milk can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, and even death. Milk is pasteurized to remove dangerous pathogens like E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria and viruses that can cause disease.
Children and people with weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from consuming raw milk.

Hawaii’s Food Safety Division conducts routine food facility health inspections, investigating sources of foodborne disease and potential adulteration, and working to prevent foodborne outbreaks.

Food safety inspectors spent July visiting animal traders and food retailers in the islands to enforce the embargo. Stores that removed and destroyed the raw milk immediately could avoid fines of up to $ 10,000 a day.

Since 1987, the FDA has reported 143 outbreaks of disease – some with miscarriages, stillbirths, kidney failure, and deaths – associated with the consumption of raw milk and products containing pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and E. coli.

The FDA has banned the sale of raw milk between states since 1987. Today 20 states like Hawaii expressly prohibit the sale of raw milk in some form and 30 allow it in some form. The FDA estimates that less than one percent of consumers have opted out of pasteurization in favor of raw, unpasteurized milk.

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