What checks are in place to ensure the quality of milk?
- Individual cow – Farmers routinely test the quality of milk from each cow in their herd. This test reveals important information about the health of each animal and the milk they produce.
- On the farm – Milk truck drivers are also trained, milk graders. When picking up a bulk load of raw milk from a farm, the driver inspects the sight and smell of the milk and takes sterile samples from the farm’s cooled bulk tank before loading the milk onto their temperature-controlled truck. Those samples are tested at a lab for quality measures such as fat and protein content and the presence of antibiotic residue, allowing any issues to be traced back to the originating farm.
- At the processing plant – When a milk truck arrives at a processing plant, the processor does similar tests for the load, double-checking the milk again to ensure they’re only accepting milk that meets Canada’s regulated standards. In the rare instance, any antibiotic residue or other problem is detected, an entire load of milk is discarded before entering processing.