Batches of a brand of raw milk that is delivered in parts of the South Island is being recalled because it might contain listeria.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium that can cause serious illness and even death in some people.

People most at risk of listeriosis are pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

The disease can cause flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever,
diarrhoea. It can take 2-30 days after eating contaminated food before symptoms appear. Blood or brain infection can follow.

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The Government's food safety regulator, the Ministry of Primary Industries, has issued the recall notice today, which applies to certain batches of Go Farming Ltd's raw - unpasteurised - drinking milk.

The affected products are one litre bottles in baches 32, 33 and 34, with use-by markings of August 18, 20 and 21.

The ministry said the milk is sold online and is collected at the farm or delivered in the Southland and Queenstown regions.

"The product has not been exported."

"This recall does not affect any other batch of Go 2 Raw Milk brand raw - unpasteurised - drinking milk."

Customers are urged to check the batch number and date mark on the product label.

"Affected product should not be consumed. There have been no reports of illness, however, if you have consumed this product and have any concerns about your health, seek medical advice."

The Herald has approached Go 2 for comment.

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A banner on the Go 2 website states: "GO 2 RAW MILK is closed until further notice. Listeria Monocytogenes was present in our last milk test (Batch 32- Tuesday 15th August)."

The Auckland Regional Public Health Service says listeria is widespread in the environment and can be found in raw food, soil, vegetables, sewage and in the faeces of many animals, birds and fish.

To prevent infection, it advises good hand hygiene, washing all vegetables that will be eaten raw, fully cooking raw meat, eating cooked food within one or two days, abiding by "use-by" and "best-before" dates on store-purchased items, not consuming unpasteurised milk or dairy foods, and cleaning all utensils, cutting boards and work surfaces with a mild bleach solution.

Pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system should also not eat:
• Soft cheeses such as brie, camembert, feta (hard cheese, cream cheese, cottage cheese or yoghurt are okay)
• Refrigerated smoked fish products unless cooked
• Pates

To reduce the risk of getting sick from raw milk, the ministry recommends:
• Keep it chilled whilst taking it home from the farm
• Keep it in the coldest part of your fridge
• Throw it out if it's been left out for 2 or more hours
• When you want to drink your raw milk, heat it until just boiling, or to 70C for one minute, before drinking it
• Drink it by its use-by date
• If serving raw milk to friends or visitors, explain the risks
• Buy only from a registered supplier