September 28, 2021

Hawaii Raw Goat Milk Embargo in Effect Against Retail Stores

A Hawaii raw goat milk embargo is in effect because the product is allegedly being sold by food retailers and in pet supply stores. It is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption in Hawaii. The government is issuing cease and desist orders to those facilities that may be selling unpasteurized goat milk.

Hawaii Embargoes Raw Goat Milk Sold by Retailers and Pet Stores

These raw milk products are not safe for humans consumption. Pet stores or any other retailer that has raw milk in their possession must remove it from sale immediately and destroy it or return the milk to their supplier. Fines for disobeying this embargo can be up to $10,000 per day.

As of July 1, 2021, there were nearly 20 Oahu pet store that were selling the unpasteurized goat milk product, according to the DOH notice. The health department is inspecting stores to try to enforce the embargo.

Under Hawaii law, only Grade A pasteurized milk and milk products may be sold to the consumer or to restaurants. Peter Oshiro, chief of the Food Safety Branch of the Hawaii Department of Health said in a statement, “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. There are many in our community that mistakenly believe that drinking raw milk is healthy, but this is simply untrue.”

The Hawaii raw goat milk embargo notice states, “Drinking unpasteurized milk is unsafe because it may result in serious illnesses, hospitalizations and even death. Raw milk has the potential to carry and transmit dangerous pathogens including E. Coli, Salmonella, and a host of other bacteria that can cause disease. It is especially dangerous for our keiki, kupuna, or those with weakened immune systems to drink raw milk because they may not be able to fend off these pathogens as a normal healthy individual would.”

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