Public well being consultants involved about MT meals invoice / Public press service


Unpasteurized milk poses sure well being dangers, in keeping with public well being consultants. (USDA NRCS Montana / Flickr)

March 5, 2021

HELENA, Mont. – A measure in Helena would give the Montanans extra freedom to purchase meals from neighboring farmers and ranchers, supporters say, however the invoice raises issues amongst meals safety consultants.

Senator Greg Hertz, R-Polson, the godfather of Senate Invoice 199, owns a grocery retailer and mentioned there was a requirement for native merchandise like uncooked milk and meat that he could not provide.

This invoice would enable that.

Mallory Scharf, public well being coverage specialist for town of Missoula well being division, countered that he’s virtually utterly eradicating regulators.

“The very restricted alternative for involvement with Division of Well being regulators could be if a foodborne sickness was doubtlessly linked to meals produced exterior the house,” Scharf defined. “And it is actually a reactive means of reacting to meals safety, you already know, after somebody’s already sick.”

A so-called “cottage meals legislation“enacted in 2015 permits the Montanans to promote home-made meals merchandise on to prospects, however it’s designed for meals that aren’t prone to unfold foodborne diseases, akin to jams, breads and grains .

Below this legislation, individuals should register with their native well being company.

Scharf famous that round 400 licensed operators have registered greater than 6,500 merchandise.

At a public listening to in February, many supporters of the invoice expressed well being issues over store-bought milk, saying uncooked or unpasteurized milk is purer and due to this fact more healthy.

However Scharf would not suppose the invoice establishes a protected route for promoting uncooked milk as a result of it would not require any laws, akin to monitoring or labeling.

“Pasteurized milk is simply extra prone to comprise pathogens that may trigger illness, and the pasteurization of milk has merely been an incredible success for public well being,” mentioned Scharf. “And reversing that does not sound like good public well being coverage.”

Federal businesses just like the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention have additionally famous the risks of uncooked milk and micro organism linked to foodborne sickness.

The invoice handed the Senate this week and has been referred to the Home Social Companies Committee.

Eric Tegethoff, Public Data Service – MT

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