MICROBIAL AND COST BENEFIT ANALYSES OF ON-FARM INTERVENTIONS THAT REDUCE SPOREFORMING BACTERIA LEVELS IN RAW MILK
Bacterial spores are a major challenge for the dairy industry as they can survive pasteurization, as well as other processing hurdles such as drying, and deteriorate the quality of many dairy products including fluid milk, cheese, and dairy powders. Research has shown that sporeforming bacteria can enter the raw milk supply at the farm level through udders and teat ends contaminated with feed, manure, and bedding. However, little has been done to give farmers evidence-based approaches to reduce the levels of sporeforming bacteria in their raw milk. This research aims to i) provide farmers with easy to implement management practices that can reduce bacterial spore levels in raw milk, and ii) provide a cost benefit analysis of these management practices for both dairy processors looking to increase the quality of their products and for dairy farmers. Our data suggest applying a combination of interventions including i) washing towels with bleach; ii) drying towels completely; and iii) a milking employee training is a low-cost strategy to reducing the mesophilic and thermophilic spore counts in bulk tank raw milk. Future studies should analyze different training programs that can be used for milking parlor employees.
Food science; dairy farm; milk quality; udder hygiene; Sporeforming Bacteria; Animal sciences
Ospina, Paula Andrea; Alcaine, Samuel David
M.S., Animal Science
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis