MILK SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS FOR MILKING EQUIPMENT AND RAW MILK PRODUCTION

  • Demirci, A. A. (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Milking systems are commonly cleaned with a three-step CIP process: A warm water rinse, washing with a highly alkaline solution, and then rinsing with acidic solution followed by sanitizer rinse. The chemicals used in cleaning milking systems are costly and also handled and stored on the farm in concentrated form. Both the concentrated alkaline cleaner and acid can cause serious burns of the skin and eyes on contact. They may not be environmentally friendly. Electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water is a novel cleaning and sanitizing agent. EO water is produced via electrolysis of a weak salt solution into sodium and chlorine, using a membrane between the electrodes to help with the separation of the ions from each other, yielding an alkaline solution and an acidic solution. Therefore, it can fit easily into the accepted three-step washing process for CIP cleaning of milking systems. Moreover, preliminary studies suggested that temperature of EO water can be reduced to 60oC without compromising the outcome. Chemicals used for cleaning are expensive and represent an operating expense for the dairy producer. Once the initial investment is made to purchase a machine to make EO water, the only operating expenses are water, sodium chloride, and electricity. This is an economical gain for dairy farmer and milk producers Pennsylvania and the U.S. The sale of raw milk, which is legal in a number of states, has been increasing, and will likely continue to increase in the foreseeable future, and disease outbreaks attributed to the consumption of raw milk (and raw milk products) have been well-documented. This trend of increasing sales could potentially result in an increased probability and magnitude of disease outbreaks in consumers. However, it is not known if the prevalence, incidence and epidemiology of potentially harmful pathogens are the same on legal raw-milk operations as in herds that produce milk strictly for the pasteurized market. Therefore, a comprehensive risk assessment of this emerging issue should be undertaken, so that effective interventions might be recommended to improve the safety of raw milk, and to minimize any negative public health consequences. In the United States, widespread use of pasteurization began in 1938. Outbreaks associated with the consumption of raw milk occur routinely every year. In 2007, the outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infection associated with raw milk and cheese consumption in Pennsylvania received national attention. The source of raw milk in this outbreak was from a dairy herd with a permit to sell raw milk. These outbreaks accounted for well over 1,500 illnesses, 100 hospitalizations, and at least two deaths. Unidentified or unreported cases of human illness associated with raw milk consumption likely add substantially to these numbers. Therefore, this project involves two important aspect of milk safety; i) Improvement of CIP cleaning for on-farm milking systems and processing equipment, and ii) Evaluating and improving the safety of raw milk production by licensed dairy producers in Pennsylvania.

StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/108/31/13

Funding

  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $764,079.00

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