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|February 2012: Questions about milk quality|
|El Lechero Dairy Basics - Herd Health|
|Friday, 17 February 2012 10:02|
What are the key components of the milking process to control mastitis and ensure high-quality milk?
Consistent use of good milking practices is essential for controlling mastitis and producing high-quality milk. Several components of the milking process merit special attention.
Examination of foremilk
Forestripping is adequately performed when two to three streams of milk are expressed. Forestripping is an effective means to stimulate milk letdown and helps ensure that the teat canal is open for free flow of milk.
Premilking teat disinfection
Pre-dipping using iodine has been demonstrated to reduce standard plate counts and coliform counts in raw milk by five and sixfold, respectively.
Effective pre-dipping also contributes to improvements in food safety. Pre-dipping has been shown to reduce the risk of isolation of Listeria monocytogenes from milk filters obtained from New York dairy herds by almost fourfold. The disinfectant should be in contact with the skin for at least 30 seconds to kill bacteria.
It is recommended to forestrip before disinfecting the teats to ensure the skin is not contaminated before the milking unit is attached.
Drying of teats
A single dry cloth or paper towel should be used to dry teats of each cow to prevent the spread of mastitis pathogens.
Attaching the milking unit
Post-milking teat disinfection
Teats must be completely covered with disinfectant where the liner was in contact with the skin. Parlor managers utilize various methods to evaluate how well teats are covered after dip application to ensure more than 75 percent coverage in the majority of teats examined. EL