Food safety at milk reception is very critical. The quality of milk can not be made better than the quality being received at the reception dock. So it becomes imperative for an organisation to ensure receipt of best quality of milk at the plant. There are four major elements to be considered for the best quality of milk and ensuring Food safety. They may be listed as follows :
a. Physical impurities in milk
b. Contaminants in milk
c. Microbial impurities in milk and
d. Temperature of milk
Physical impurities in milk can be removed by using different kinds of filters right from milk collection utensil under the udder of the cows to the final pouring at the village milk collection centre. To attain higher degree of filtration, multi stage filters could also be used as discussed under Su Raksha categories of filters ( The details are given in home page as well as blogs section of this website. There must not be addition of any kind of chemical in the milk . Normally it is done to extend the shelf life of the milk particularly during the summer season.These are non negotiable and also fall under punishable offence.
Contaminants may come from feed in the form of Aflatoxins M1 or from Drugs like antibiotics or from excessive use of growth hormone . These are non negotiable and also fall under punishable offence. As per FSSAI Milk adulteration survey around 5.7% milk in India is contaminated with Aflatoxin M1 and 1.2 % with antibiotic residue.
Microbial impurities come to the milk due to unhygienic conditions of the barn, milking areas, ailment with cow’s body, milkman’s personal hygiene and cleanliness of the utensils in which milk was collected and handled. Out of these the cleanliness of utensils is the major factor contributing to the microbial load in the milk. Always use clean utensils and at the end either wash them with chlorinated water or simplest way s that after cleaning them , put hot water in the utensils for 10-15 minutes for better sanitisation.
Milk is to be stored either below 4 deg c or above 60 deg c as we do in certain processing of milk products. However we have to ensure that the milk must reach the place of instant chilling as early as possible. preferably within 4 hours of milk production it must be chilled below 4 degc.
A blog by Kuldeep Sharma , National Resource Person FSSAI for dairy sector