Be Aware of Possible Inspection Problems
USU Extension Dairy Specialist
I was recently asked by
a dairy farmer to contact the Utah State Department of Agriculture regarding a
debit on a recent inspection. The result of that interview was informative and
enlightening to me. I hope by passing on the results of that conversation, it
will help you also.
In the course of the conversation I asked what were
some of the bigger inspection problems that were being seen. I have listed four
that were identified:
Problem 1: Milking Cows with Abnormal Milk
In the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), there is a section dealing with
milking cows with abnormal milk, in our context, those with mastitis. In the
PMO, you are given two choices. Either milk such animals last or in their own
pen, the preferred method, or if they are not separated from the other cows,
milk them with completely separate equipment �which effectively prevents the
contamination of the wholesome supply.� Regarding the latter, this does NOT mean
you can use a bucket with the same claw assembly and hoses to milk sick cows. If
you do, milking is supposed to be suspended and the whole system cleaned before
using it on the next animal. This is a 5 point debit on the inspection sheet.
Problem 2: Water Supplies
Safe water supplies in the barn
have to be plumbed so that improper backflow of unsafe or questionable water is
prevented. Problems are usually seen around booster pumps. They should be
indirectly plumbed or set up so they shut off when the water pressure drops
below a certain point.
Problem 3: Improper Hand-washing
The PMO says that convenient hand-washing facilities
shall be provided, including hot and cold and/or warm running water, soap, and
individual sanitary towels or other approved hand-drying devices. Hand-washing
facilities shall be kept in a clean condition and in good repair. The operative
words here seems to be: convenient to the milking operation and hot and cold
water (with adequate pressure). The milk hauler is supposed to use this before
collecting a milk sample. The milkers are also supposed to wash their hands
Problem 4: Use of Toilets
The PMO says
that a toilet or privy shall be located convenient to the milking barn and the
milkroom and there is no evidence of human defecation or urination about the
premises. I am told this is a problem on many dairies where toilet paper is not
flushed down the toilet, but is put into an adjacent bucket or on the floor.
This seems to revolve around cultural differences. If you have this problem on
your dairy, you need to have a discussion with your employees.
can see, the problems seen on a dairy are varied, but knowing what the problem
is can become the first step in correcting it. If you have questions about any
of these areas, please contact your milk inspector.