Protecting the Safety of Milk
Grade A milk is carefully produced, processed and packaged in order to
protect the safety of the consumer. Pasteurized milk can readily spoil
and could cause foodborne illness if not properly protected.
Refrigeration is the single most important factor in maintaining
the safety of milk. By law, Grade A milk must be maintained at a temperature
of 45oF or below. However, temperatures well below 40oF are necessary
to protect the milk's quality. It is critical that these temperatures be
maintained through warehousing, distribution, delivery and storage.
Remember temperature is the most important factor.
Don't accept milk whose temperature is above 45oF.
If milk is allowed to warm above 45oF, discard it.
Stage milk orders only in refrigerated storage.
Milk should be transported in trailers constantly below 40oF.
Milk must be taken directly from the truck to the storage cooler. Never
allow milk to sit on a loading dock.
Check and record temperature of milk at each stage of the distribution
Rotate milk stocks and observe code dates. Remember first in first out.
Infants, pregnant mothers, the elderly and those taking certain drug therapies
are most threatened by spoiled milk. Bacteria which grow in warm milk may
cause serious illness and even death. It is important that everyone who
handles milk understands this danger.
Harmful bacteria can grow rapidly in milk above 45oF.
For each 18oF increase in temperature, the spoilage rate of milk doubles.
For 45oF milk on loading dock in summer:
For 45oF milk unloaded in parking lot
Properly refrigerated, milk can withstand about 2 weeks storage. As
the product is allowed to warm, the bacteria grow more rapidly. The cooler
milk is kept above 32oF, the longer it lasts, and the safer it is. In addition,
milkborne illness bacteria will not grow below 45oF.
For more information:
1. Contact your county Cooperative Extension Office.
2. Call your milk supplier.
Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of
May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered
to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.
North Carolina State University, North Carolina A & T State University,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
FOOD SAFETY FSE 93-4 [08-93]
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