Pasteurising milk for sale

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
I have, they don't know, and as I'm the only person asking this question in their area, I've so far been ignored.
Our EHO gets us to send pasteurised milk samples on a monthly basis to Porton Down for alkaline phosphatase test. When preparing samples for this it is important to get the cooling of the sample done correctly, maintain a cool chain to the lab which must be reached in a limited time span. The enzyme which is tested for will regenerate over time, and we have had occasional "fails" when the sample has not been analysed in time (despite the logs showing it was received on time). We have driven samples to Meadow Foods in Peterborough who do this test on a routine basis for their own products, and despite failing the EHO test it has passed easily at Meadow Foods. We are very grateful to them, as they have no method for charging for the test so did it free of charge.
Our EHO will only accept government labs. There used to be one in Norwich, which closed so samples went to Colindale, which closed and left only Porton Down or York.
The EHO organises a collection of milk and cheese samples from over North Norfolk from a central yoghurt maker, and couriers them to Porton.
 

Tim G

Member
Livestock Farmer
Thanks @sjt01. I think your EHO is a bit more switched on, I'm told that the raw milk producers up there get most of their sampling done by the council and paid for by them too. I'd read up about the alkaline phosphatase testing but it said it needed doing immediately after pasteurisation, I wasn't sure how immediate they were suggesting. I send my other milk samples to NML, I post them in the afternoon and they are there first thing the next morning so might be quick enough? NML have two phosphatase tests listed, a biochemical test and a spectrophotometry test. Do you know which one I should do and how to interpret the results?
 

puppet

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
sw scotland
I have, they don't know, and as I'm the only person asking this question in their area, I've so far been ignored.
Sorry, I thought you wanted to get some ideas and the EHO didn't know of your plans.
Great thing the English language and how we interpret it. Good to keep lawyers in a job.
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
Thanks @sjt01. I think your EHO is a bit more switched on, I'm told that the raw milk producers up there get most of their sampling done by the council and paid for by them too. I'd read up about the alkaline phosphatase testing but it said it needed doing immediately after pasteurisation, I wasn't sure how immediate they were suggesting. I send my other milk samples to NML, I post them in the afternoon and they are there first thing the next morning so might be quick enough? NML have two phosphatase tests listed, a biochemical test and a spectrophotometry test. Do you know which one I should do and how to interpret the results?
Our EHO will only take results from the official labs. They get worried if the values are around 100, but the legal limit is around 300 (my wife looks after the detail). We work under the Specialist Cheesemakers Association Code of Practice. Samples must be analysed within 24 hours of pasteurising.
I will pm you a relevant document.
 

farmerdan7618

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Somerset
Phosphotase, enterobacteriacie, salmonella and listeria tests run here. Done monthly on a sample collected by these. They just take a bottle of finished product, national collection service.

 
I find this thread very interesting. Can you explain then need for/interest in alkaline phosphatase testing in milk destined for public consumption? Salmonella and listeria etc I can understand. I only ask because in my day job we measure ALP as a screen for liver and bone metabolism.
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
I find this thread very interesting. Can you explain then need for/interest in alkaline phosphatase testing in milk destined for public consumption? Salmonella and listeria etc I can understand. I only ask because in my day job we measure ALP as a screen for liver and bone metabolism.
It is basically a test of whether the pasteurisation has been adequate (time and temperature) to inactivate the enzyme, purely as an indicator of effectiveness, not because the enzyme is important in its own right.
 
Never send a cream sample for a phosphatase test. It will probably fail

The attached report explains why & is useful to have on file if you get a new EHO who you need to "train" ;) ;)

We sent cream sample and passed and was never questioned. There’s a lot of reading in your article, can you abbreviate it ?
 

Wisconsonian

Member
Trade
It is basically a test of whether the pasteurisation has been adequate (time and temperature) to inactivate the enzyme, purely as an indicator of effectiveness, not because the enzyme is important in its own right.
Pasteurization is built around killing tuberculosis. TB being the hardest common pathogen to kill, and the one that was most important at the time pasteurization was introduced. TB in slaughtered cattle have averaged less than 20 annually in the US for the last twenty years, I assume transmitted from humans mostly, but still TB is the standard. Alkaline phosphatase is a good indicator, maybe an easy to test indicator also?
 

Tim G

Member
Livestock Farmer
Pasteurization is built around killing tuberculosis. TB being the hardest common pathogen to kill, and the one that was most important at the time pasteurization was introduced. TB in slaughtered cattle have averaged less than 20 annually in the US for the last twenty years, I assume transmitted from humans mostly, but still TB is the standard. Alkaline phosphatase is a good indicator, maybe an easy to test indicator also?
From what I understand, the enzyme the alkaline phosphatase is testing for is denatured at just above the temperature and time that tuberculosis is killed at, which is why it is used as an indicator of sufficient pasteurisation.
We pathogen test our Raw milk anyway and that passes, so using them as an indication of pasteurisation wouldn't work.
 
Location
East Mids
Pasteurization is built around killing tuberculosis. TB being the hardest common pathogen to kill, and the one that was most important at the time pasteurization was introduced. TB in slaughtered cattle have averaged less than 20 annually in the US for the last twenty years, I assume transmitted from humans mostly, but still TB is the standard. Alkaline phosphatase is a good indicator, maybe an easy to test indicator also?
Pasteurisation protocols were changed in the UK a few years ago to give better kill of Johnes. TB still a big issue in the UK though!
 

jimmer

Member
Location
East Devon
Our local eho comes in once a month , purchases a bottle of milk and sends it off to porton down ( yes that porton down 🤔) for phosphotase, e.coli tests etc
Shame the report comes back most times saying insufficient transport conditions due to being packaged with raw fish and meat products 😯

We also had an abrupt phone call once to say we had to stop selling milk immediately as phos test was too high and they would be out in 2 hours to investigate
Phos test was 70 ,well under legal limit and under recommended high limit
Oh I did enjoy making her feel small when she got on farm
 

sjt01

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
North Norfolk
From what I understand, the enzyme the alkaline phosphatase is testing for is denatured at just above the temperature and time that tuberculosis is killed at, which is why it is used as an indicator of sufficient pasteurisation.
We pathogen test our Raw milk anyway and that passes, so using them as an indication of pasteurisation wouldn't work.
Some thoughts from my wife on the test:
We have endured "failures"

- because Phosphatase lives on sides of fat globules and EHO skimmed cream off top of milk. This was apparent from fat analysis

- regenerated phosphatase because sample was not cooled quickly enough ,which is why we swirl it in an ice bath for a rapid chill

- because the fluorescence test must be done within 24 hours and samples go walk about between Cromer- north London -Southampton- Porton down. and don't get tested for over 36 hours.

- because EHO does not know how to interpret result. The legal limit is 350 units. Our EHO has terrorised us to consistently to get below 100. This has no place in the law and they have been wrong to harass us.

100 is a level the big milk bottlers have for long-life pasteurised skimmed milk , which has much lower levels because as before the phosphatase is concentrated in the fat, so in low fat milk there will be lower level and a level of above 100 m

- because someone forgot to put icepacks in cold box.

Our problem is there is no Health Protection agency Lab nearer to us than York or Porton down, both over four hours drive away, the courier service often fails, and the time of testing on the printed report is inaccurate such as telling me that it was tested within 4 hours when the only way that could happen would be a helicopter as i know it didn't leave Cromer till 11am.

Because of the high level of harassment from EHOs the Specialist Cheesemakers association run workshops on pasteurisation, raw milk and cheesemaking aimed at them to help them to understand the dairy industry. They believe that hot food should be hot and cold food should be cold ... but cheesemaking means messing about with it between 20 and 40 degrees for up to three days, and it just boggles them. Its not what they were trained at college.

Pasteurisation does matter. Before WW2 60,000 brits a year died of milk borne disease. There area lot of immunocompromised people about who are fragile. But in designing your system think about avoiding cross contamination of your pasteurised milk.

My EHO, has been on teh courses might correspond by email with yours, we have given each other lip in our time , but he has enjoyed his pasteurisation training courses, and we now co-exist at peace.

As cheesemakers we get referee support from Primary Authority Cornwall County Council.

We have an excellent consultant on dairy processing who knows the rules backwards, and I can message anyone interested with her contact details.
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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