Public warned against buying fake milk products

By Rudo Saungweme

The Dairy Services Unit has advised the public to avoid purchasing any milk or milk products from the informal markets unless one is sure that these have been handled in accordance with the dairy milk regulations.

Dairy Services Unit Technician, Juliana Mucheki has said this today in an interview at the Harare Agricultural Show.

"Dairy farms and processing plants must conform to strict sanitation standards prescribed in regulations under the Dairy Act [Chapter 18:08], Food and Food Standards Act [Chapter 15:04].

"To be registered, the premises must meet the requirements for clean milk production and the sale of milk should be regularly tested to ensure that it meets the minimum legal standards," she said.

Mucheki stated that legislation exists to pursue another goal of protecting public interest.

"Legislation does not exist for a purpose of its own. Legislation exists to pursue another goal like public interest, orderly marketing, health requirements and quality standards.

"For this purpose, the public is advised not to purchase any milk or milk products unless you are absolutely sure that these have been produced, processed, packaged and handled in accordance with the statutes and are safe for human consumption," she said.

Mucheki encouraged the consumers not to buy because the product is cheap but should emphasise on quality. She added that food safety must never be compromised.

She stated that milk is highly nutritious but is also high-risk food stuff especially if consumed in its raw state.

Drinking milk and other milk products bought from the informal markets makes one more vulnerable to Salmonella and it can also cause food poisoning and bacterial infections.