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Unpasteurised Milk

Volume 301: debated on Thursday 27 November 1997

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To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what plans his Department has to introduce a ban on the sale of unpasteurised milk; and if he will make a statement. [18039]

We have initiated public consultations on a proposal to ban sales of raw cows' milk for drinking in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Such milk is already banned in Scotland. These consultations have no effect on sales of unpasteurised cows' milk for further processing.I cannot predict the outcome of public consultation. We shall take careful stock of the responses before proposing how we wish to proceed.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what procedures exist for the monitoring of unpasteurised milk. [18040]

All production holdings and processing establishments are inspected regularly to check milk is produced hygienically and to monitor compliance with the Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995, as amended.Enforcement authorities monitor the microbiological status of unpasteurised milk at all stages of distribution and check the conditions under which the milk is handled and packaged. Samples of milk from all registered sellers of unpasteurised cows' milk are officially tested on average on two occasions each year.Processors themselves are required to monitor and control critical points in the production and packaging of unpasteurised milk.

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many farms are currently selling unpasteurised milk; and what is the volume sold each day. [18041]

The majority of milk producers sell unpasteurised milk for further processing. Statistics are not collected and so the exact number of these is not known.Production statistics for raw cows' drinking milk are not collected.There are currently 578 registered producers of raw cows' drinking milk in England and Wales. Production, in some cases, is known to be linked to seasonal demand.Production of raw cows' drinking milk is thought to be in the region of 1,000 litres per day.