Nine raw milk suppliers accused of putting consumer health at risk are facing criminal proceedings. MPI has laid charges against the suppliers following a 12-month investigation. During a co-ordinated sting in December 2019, ministry staff shut down sales of raw milk from dairy farms in Manawatū, Horowhenua, Auckland, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Southland. During the raids, 62 compliance officers seized everything from client lists to computer hard drives. The new regulations came about after raw milk was responsible for a significant gastro outbreak in Timaru in 2014. It resulted in seven people contracting campylobacter, New Zealand’s most notified gastrointestinal disease. In response, the Government tightened hygiene standards with Farms required to store milk in ministry-registered vending machines or secure fridge depots, where the milk could be picked up by customers. However, it’s alleged some suppliers found a loophole to avoid the associated compliance costs, which are said to be between $10,000 and $20,000.