Is your milk safe to drink? Will it make me sick?
As with any other raw foods, there are potential risks with consuming raw dairy products. Here is what we are doing to help mitigate the potential risks:
1. Bacteria Control:
Every batch of milk we produce is tested at an independent state certified lab to ensure it meets or exceeds the standard for pasteurized milk. This means:
a. It is required to be under 20,000 colony forming bacteria units under a test called SPC (Standard Plate Count-see key below for explanation). Most of the time our milk is under 1,000.
b. It is required to be under 10 coliform colonies(see key below for explanation). This is an incredibly strict standard. We generally are between 0-3.
2. Pathogen Testing:
It is not required by the state, but to mitigate potential risks we have an independent state certified lab test every batch for:
b. E.coli (0157)
3. Other Areas:
a. In addition to regular inspections, the state health department performs monthly tests of the health of our herd through a process called SCC (Somatic Cell Count).
b. In line with all dairies in the state, every batch of milk is tested for antibiotics.
c. In addition to our thorough testing, our milking team goes through an extensive cleaning process of our cows udders before milkers are put on. Our system and tank also goes through an extensive and consistent cleaning process to reduce the possibility of bacteria entering our system.
d. Our herd is tested yearly for tuberculosis.
Do you ever not pass a test?
These tests are in place to provide checks as to the cleanliness and safety of our milk. There are times when we do not pass these tests. When this happens the milk is disposed of on the farm and does not get shipped to our stores.
This test specifically targets bacteria that is found in the environment with the intention to see how much environmental bacteria is getting into the milk. The industry standard for pasteurized and certified raw milk for retail is 10 colonies. This is actually a very strict test. As seen above we average about 1.
SPC-Standard Plate Count
This test measures the total amount of bacteria colonies found in the milk. Industry standard for pasteurized and certified raw milk for retail is 20,000 colonies. As seen above we average under 1,000.