Keeping milk clean
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CTA. 2005. Keeping milk clean. Rural Radio Resource Pack 05/5. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
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Gabriel Karanja, a milk trader and dairy producer in Kenya, and Eliana Mushi of a milk buying group in Tanzania, explain how dairy farmers can keep their milk free of dirt and other contaminants.
Keeping milk clean Cue: Milk is a very important food, particularly for growing children. For example, it contains large amounts of calcium, which is vital for the growth of strong bones. But milk is also a very suitable environment for bacteria to grow, so keeping it free from dirt is essential. The greatest risk of dirt entering the milk is probably during the actual time of milking. But by following some simple procedures, farmers can minimise the chances of contamination. Gabriel Karanja is a Kenyan dairy farmer and milk trader who has recently been given training in safe milk handling. He spoke to Susie Emmett about some of these important procedures for keeping milk clean. IN: ?You see there is a shed ?? OUT: ??water or anything to your milk.? DUR?N 6?30? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Eliana Mushi of the Kalali Women?s Group. Earlier, Susie Emmett was talking to Gabriel Karanja, a Kenyan dairy farmer and milk trader. Transcript Karanja You see there is a shed, there is the milking shed where you go and milk the cows. Then that is where you wash your hands with soap and the clean water. Then you get the warm water and a clean cloth, now you wash the underside of the cow. Emmett So that is the udder and the teats under the cow, you wash them with warm water. And why do you do that? Karanja If you milk that cow without washing the udder and the teats there is a problem because this cow where it was sleeping there is dust, there is everything, and sometimes they can lie on the dung. But cleaning the udder first, you are taking care of any contamination of the milk from the cow. So now then you bring your container which you have washed previously, you have sterilised it with hot water, you have made it dry, that is when you milk your cow. Emmett And you are making a point about not just washing, not just sterilising but things must be dry too? Karanja Yes, after washing you dry the teats with a dry towel. Before training we used to apply the milking salve but later after training we came to realise milking with a salve can also contaminate the milk. Emmett So a salve is like a cream that you put on the teats? Karanja Cream yes. You see the salve is to keep the teats soft so that it cannot crack. But if you milk you use the salve on the teats, when you are milking the cow part of the salve might enter the milk. Emmett So the cream that you put on the teat can come through your hands and then on to the milk? Karanja Because the milk is hot. Emmett Into the container? Karanja Yes. So the best thing is you milk before you apply the salve and then you apply later after milking, then you can now apply the salve so that it can preserve the teats. Emmett And what about if you have got a cow that tends to kick or fidget or swish her tail as the milking is going on, how can you stop that so that dirt does not get dropped into the milk? Karanja That one is controlled by tying you see, but these days we have a locking stick. Emmett So a piece of wood that you put behind the legs? Karanja Behind and in front of the legs. Behind so that the cow cannot go out and then in front so that it cannot kick. Then the tail, you tie the tail by the post. And also the other thing we used to sometimes to feed the cow when we are milking. Also that one can contaminate the milk because when it is feeding it is a bit dusty, so this dust can also contaminate the milk. Emmett So as she feeds she can blow dust from the feed down into the milk? Karanja Yes so the best thing is you first milk and then you feed it after. Emmett And then hopefully you have got this lovely clean milk in a lovely clean container. What is it important to do next? Karanja Now the other thing, so you have to sieve, the milk has to be sieved, from the container from where you are milking to the clean container which carries this milk. Emmett Through a piece of cloth? Karanja The sieving, you have a sieve, then you have a clean piece of cloth. Emmett So sieving or straining the milk into another container will help to remove any small pieces of hair or dust? Karanja Yes. Emmett A final question, are there sometimes when if you have treated the cow with a medicine you cannot sell the milk? Karanja Yes you do not deliver that milk. Because the medicine which has treated the cow it is not fit for human consumption. So if you deliver this milk to your customers, you are making them sick because you are giving them poison. Actually the cow medicine is poisonous for the human beings. Emmett That is how you think of it? Karanja Yes that is what I have been taught in the training. Emmett And so are you careful if you use medicines for mastitis, for infections of the udder or worm medicines, you read the instructions carefully? Karanja You read the instructions, even not only me, even my suppliers, the other farmers who supply milk to me. I have to instruct them and I tell them if you treat a cow you follow the instructions, if the veterinary officer tells you to take three days, you bring the milk after the three days. That is the time I would take the milk. Emmett So you sound like a really professional milkman? Karanja So that I continue with my business, because that is why I am getting my delivery. NARR Gabriel Karanja, serious about the business of keeping the milk he sells clean. In the town of Moshi in northern Tanzania, the Kalali Women?s Group is also involved in processing and selling milk. Speaking on the telephone, Lazarus Laiser asked Eliana Mushi, one of the group members, about how they maintain high standards of hygiene in their milk. Laiser How do you test milk from the farmers and ensure that it is clean? Mushi (Vernac) We test the milk by using lactometer, water thermometer and it shows if it has any contamination or not. Laiser How do you prevent dirt contaminating the milk? Mushi (Vernac) After receiving the milk we put in the can and boil in water whilst in the can. After boiling we put again in a well-washed can and close them well and keep safely until cold. Immediately after pouring milk from the can we wash and put them to dry waiting for other milk. Laiser Have you received milk which is contaminated? Mushi (Vernac) Yes, we often receive milk which is contaminated with water and other impurities. Such milk we cannot use it. Laiser It is only a water problem or are there other problems? Mushi (Vernac) Not water only but other dirt like cow dung caused by not well washed udder. You can feel even by smelling. Others put wheat flour to have more milk. Others water and once we receive this milk we always send back to the farmer. Laiser How do you advise the farmers especially the process of milking? Mushi (Vernac) They have to follow instructions on how to milk. They should wash the udder with clean water using a lot of water and rub with a clean towel. You must wash well the can or bucket to be used in milking. Never ever add water or anything to your milk. End of track.
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