Is there pus in milk?

No. Milk doesn’t contain pus. Find out more about this myth.

No, milk doesn’t contain pus.

Milk from healthy animals contains cells, called somatic cells.  The dairy industry uses somatic cell counts as an indicator of quality. If the milk has a higher somatic cell count, it’s a sign the cow is fighting an infection. Herd health is managed so well in British Columbia that somatic cell counts are typically less than half the acceptable limit.

Somatic cells are not pus.

What is pus? Pus is dead white blood cells, dead skin cells and bacteria, not the live somatic cells you’ll find in milk from healthy cows. Somatic cell count is just one of many tests done on each and every batch of milk to ensure high quality milk.

Check out more about all the quality checks on every dairy farm and dairy plant.

About BC Dairy

BC Dairy is a not-for-profit organization representing BC’s dairy farmers.