Contract Language: Dairy Operating Standards

DAIRY OPERATING STANDARDS

Our goal is to steward the land and support a healthy group of milking goats, to harvest their milk in a clean manner and properly cool, store and bottle this milk. The following is a description of how we do things and what materials we use.

DESCRIPTION OF FACILITIES

We rotationally graze our goats on the property and goats have access to ample outdoor space 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. In the summer, the goats graze and in winter we feed them local grass, alfalfa and organic grain. Goats have access to fresh, clean water. We have a large barn and small goat hutches for loafing and bedding in the winter and shade in the summer.

Milking is performed in a closed milking parlor with a cement floor. The holding pen is a grassy open-air pen.
Access to the milking/holding area from the fields is through the pens, down our dirt road or through the barn. These areas can become muddy in stormy or wet weather.

An enclosed, well-lit and ventilated room is used as our milking parlor. It has a concrete floor. Hot, soapy water is used to clean the animals before milking. A stainless steel, 3-basin sink and commercial dishwasher are used for washing and sterilizing milking equipment and sanitizing bottles.

A large stainless steel table is used for bottling milk. A commercial refrigerator is used to store milk products at under 40 degrees. A thermometer is always kept in the refrigerator to monitor milk temperature. A small separate stainless steel sink is provided for hand washing.

PROCEDURES

Goats are brought in from the fields or the barn into an open-air holding pen for milking. They are brought into the milking area one or two at a time and directed to their milk stanchion. The teats are washed with a wet cloth and soapy water with chlorohexidine. A clean rag is used for each teat/udder and goat to avoid cross-contamination. The teats are dried and the first streams of milk are discarded into a strip cup. Then the goat is milked into a stainless steel milking buckets either manually or with a milking machine. After milking the teats are dipped in a commercial chlorohexidine-based teat dip.

After all the goats are milked, the milk is carried in a covered milk tote to our processing facilities and poured through a filter into individual, sanitized bottles. Bottling of the milk into individual jars that have been sterilized takes place daily. The jars are lidded immediately and placed into a commercial refrigerator to chill rapidly to 35 to 40 degrees (F).

Jars are washed in a commercial grade dishwasher prior to filling. Jar washing may take place up to three days prior to filling. All equipment is sterilized immediately before use with a chlorine solution and air-dried.

MILK TESTING

We have our milk tested monthly at Microbial Research Inc lab in Fort Collins. Milk testing includes:

  • Somatic Cell Counts (SCCs) are a valuable test to help determine the quality of the milk and to indicate whether mastitis may be occurring.
  • Raw milk panels. Salmonella, E. coli 0157-H7, Campylobacter and Listeria. CSU standards require that all tests employs Standard Methods for the Examination of Dairy Products or Food & Drug Administration guidelines. These standards are superior to most regular microbiological methods and ensure the best possible result from the sample submitted.

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