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Journal of Dairy Science

Short communication: Microbial quality of raw milk following commercial long distance hauling

Emily M. Darchuk, Lisbeth Meunier-Goddik, Joy Waite-Cusic

Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331.


Hauling is a critical part of the commercial milk supply chain, yet very few studies have aimed to understand its effect on raw milk quality. This study focused on the effect of extended-duration tanker use during hauling on raw milk quality at a commercial facility. Standard tanker use [cleaned-in-place (CIP) once per 24 h] served as a control and an incremental between-load water rinse with sanitizer treatment (RS) was evaluated to mitigate any effect from extended duration hauling. During this study, 1 commercial truck with 2 trailers was monitored for 10 d. The truck collected milk at a large dairy farm, transported the milk to a manufacturing facility, and then returned to the same farm for a second load. Each round trip journey took between 10 and 12 h, allowing for 2 loads per 24-h use period. Following the second delivery, the truck was cleaned by CIP treatment starting a new treatment day. Producer samples were collected from the raw milk bulk tank on the farm before loading milk into the tanker. The same milk was sampled directly out of the tanker truck before unloading at the manufacturer. Effect on individual bacteria count, thermophilic spore count, and preliminary incubation count was quantified through common industry tests. Surface sponge swabs were also used to monitor tanker sanitation and the efficacy of cleaning treatments. Results did not identify a negative effect on raw milk quality due to extended duration hauling. Whereas the addition of RS did not provide any measurable quality benefits for the microbial milk quality, swab results demonstrated that the RS treatment was able to reduce surface bacteria in the tanker, although not to the same level as the full CIP treatment. Based on this study, current CIP practices for long distance milk hauling appear to be effective in mitigating any measurable effect on raw milk quality.

Keywords: hauling; milk tanker; bacteria; cleaning.

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