Systematic, national surveillance of outbreaks of intestinal infectious disease has been undertaken by Public Health England (PHE) since 1992. Between 1992 and 2002, there were 19 outbreaks linked to raw drinking milk (RDM) or products made using raw milk, involving 229 people; 36 of these were hospitalised. There followed an eleven-year period (2003-2013) where no outbreaks linked to RDM were reported. However, since 2014 seven outbreaks of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (n = 3) or Campylobacter jejuni (n = 4) caused by contaminated RDM were investigated and reported. Between 2014 and 2017, there were 114 cases, five reported hospitalisations and one death. The data presented within this review indicated that the risk of RDM has increased since 2014. Despite the labelling requirements and recommendations that children should not consume RDM, almost a third of outbreak cases were children. In addition, there has been an increase in consumer popularity and in registered RDM producers in the UK. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) continue to provide advice on RDM to consumers and have recently made additional recommendations to enhance existing controls around registration and hygiene of RDM producers.
- food safety
- food-borne zoonoses
- gastrointestinal infections
- public health emerging infections