Keeping Milk Safe — From Cow to You
The journey of milk is such a fascinating one. Our cows are milked three times a day and produce more 100 pounds of milk per cow. When we milk, we place suctioned milkers that pulsate on each utter, which is very comfortable for the cow.
If we have any cows that are being treated with antibiotics due to illness or have mastitis problems, their milk is jugged separately and then dumped so it doesn’t ever go into the tank that is picked up by the milk truck.
The milk goes directly from the cow to the bulk tank, which is refrigerated at 37 degrees to preserve freshness and safety. The milk doesn’t ever touch human hands and waits in the tank until the milk truck comes to pick it up at 7:30 a.m. each morning.
Milk safety is extremely important. Before the milk leaves our farm, we test the milk for antibiotics. The milk hauler takes a couple of samples of our milk and puts into vials. The milk is then taken by the milk truck and one vial is tested at the processing plant before it is unloaded. Since there are other farms’ milk in the same tank, if there is a problem, it can be traced back to an individual farm.
The second vial goes to our milk co-op to be tested for different types of bacteria, freeze point, antibiotics and other things. Our premiums, awards and paychecks are determined from this information. It’s to our advantage to produce safe, high quality milk! If our milk were found to have antibiotics in it, we would lose the value of the milk for the day, premiums for the month and we would be responsible for paying for all of the milk on the truck. So it’s not worth it to ship unsafe milk. Milk from the cow to you is 100 percent safe.