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Health Department: Don't Drink Raw Goat Milk From Pet Stores

glass of milk
Andrew Unangst/Getty Images
glass of milk

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health has put an embargo on raw milk products after finding nearly 20 Oʻahu pet stores that sold unpasteurized goat milk products.

Inspectors from DOH's Food Safety Branch have been visiting pet supply stores and food retailers to issue cease and desist notices to anyone selling unpasteurized goat milk.

Retailers that have raw milk products must destroy them or return them to their supplier. Failure to do so could result in seizure and fines up to $10,000 a day.

In Hawaiʻi, only grade A pasteurized milk and milk products may be sold to the final consumer or to restaurants.

“The goat milk is being advertised as ‘pet food,’ but the sale of any form of raw fluid milk is a risk to public health because it is easily diverted for human consumption,” said Peter Oshiro, chief of the Food Safety Branch, in a statement. “There are many in our community that mistakenly believe that drinking raw milk is healthy, but this is simply untrue.”

Raw milk has the potential to carry and transmit dangerous pathogens such as E. Coli, salmonella and other disease-causing bacteria. It is especially dangerous for children, seniors and those with weakened immune systems.

DOH warns of particular danger with keiki, as children infected through the consumption of raw milk can spread disease through fecal-oral means. It can also cause a serious outbreak among other children with whom they come into contact.

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