There is to be a crackdown on the sale of “deadly” milk, which is being sold as “bath milk” by suppliers who claim their customers use it on their skin rather than drinking it.
Raw milk has been linked to at least on child’s death and four cases of serious illness in Victoria last year.
However, those who buy this “bath milk”, sometimes called “Cleopatra’s milk” say it is vastly better for you that the milk you can buy in the shops, and can can allergies and eczema. But they’re not putting it on their skin, they’re drinking it.
The milk in question is raw, meaning it has not been heat treated to kill bacteria, or homogenised. All milk sold for human consumption must be heat treated to 72 degrees for at least 15 seconds.
Another process for the vast majority of milk sold in Australia is homogenisation, where the milk is passed through ultra-fine sieves the break down the fat molecules. This spreads the fat evenly though the milk, which is why we no longer get the cream floating to the top.
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Raw milk is not homogenised, so you do get that cream-top.
Raw-milk drinkers say it is easier to digest – even for those who are lactose intolerant, as it contains more enzymes. They also say it is full of good bacteria. Some studies have backed up the claims about raw milk being linked to lower asthma and allergy rates.
But the bacteria is the sticking point. Unless handled properly, raw milk can easily become a breeding ground for salmonella, listeria, E.coli and TB – bacteria that cause serious and sometimes fatal illness.
Raw milk is banned in the US, UK and here in Australia, however some farmers get around this by selling it as beauty milk.
In an announcement yesterday, a working group will now investigate ways to stop the consumption of raw milk being marketed as bath milk.
Those of us who grew up on a farm will remember the added sweetness and creaminess of milk fresh from the cow. And it doesn’t seem so long ago that all milk came with a cream top. Do you think people should be allowed to drink raw milk if they want to?
Tell us, do you think raw milk should be banned? Which kind of milk do you drink?