Ultraviolet light is being employed for bacterial inactivation in milk for calves; however, limited evidence is available to support the claim that UV light effectively inactivates bacteria found in milk. Thus, the objective of this observational study was to investigate the efficacy of on-farm UV light treatment in reducing bacteria populations in waste milk used for feeding calves. Samples of nonsaleable milk were collected from 9 Pennsylvania herds, twice daily for 15. d, both before and after UV light treatment (n. = 60 samples per farm), and analyzed for standard plate count, coliforms, noncoliform, gram-negative bacteria, environmental and contagious streptococci, coagulase-negative staphylococci, Streptococcus agalactiae, Staphylococcus aureus count, and total solids percentage, and log reduction and percentage log reduction were calculated. Data were analyzed using the mixed procedure in SAS. In all bacteria types, samples collected after UV treatment contained significantly fewer bacteria compared with samples collected before UV treatment. Weighted least squares means for log reduction (percentage log reduction) were 1.34 (29%), 1.27 (58%), 1.48 (53%), 1.85 (55%), 1.37 (72%), 1.92 (63%), 1.07 (33%), and 1.67 (82%) for standard plate count, coliforms, noncoliform, gram-negative bacteria, environmental and contagious streptococci, Strep. agalactiae, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and Staph. aureus, respectively. A percentage log reduction greater than 50% was achieved in 6 of 8 bacteria types, and 43 and 94% of samples collected after UV treatment met recommended bacterial standards for milk for feeding calves. Based on these results, UV light treatment may be effective for some, but not all bacteria types found in nonsaleable waste milk. Thus, farmers should take into account the bacteria types that may need to be reduced when considering the purchase of a UV-treatment system.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Animal Science and Zoology