Milking Plant Hygiene



Poor milking plant hygiene can reduce milk quality which therefore impacts milk pricing and dairy farm profitability.

Some tips on maintaining good milking plant hygiene are provided below.

Dairy cleaning practices

Many dairy farmers have moved from hot water sanitising to chemical sanitising, especially in Gippsland and Western Victoria, where approximately 50% of farmers now use a chemical sanitiser at least once a day, according to a study funded by Dairy Australia.

If not managed carefully, this can pose a risk to market access. Farmers need to be aware that unless chemical sanitisers are rinsed thoroughly from the plant before the next milking, traces of the chemical can be left on the pipework.

Although all of the chemical sanitisers being used in dairies have been evaluated for safety, this does not stop international customers and regulators putting their own requirements on the products that they wish to purchase.

For example, some markets are very sensitive to residues of quaternary ammonium compounds or benzalkonium chloride, contained in some dairy sanitisers.

This means some dairy companies are working with their farmer suppliers to minimise the risk of residues in their milk supply. Depending on the milk company, some farmers may be asked to review their dairy cleaning practices.

Frequently asked questions - use of QACs on farms

House-keeping tips – Milking machine and vat hygiene

Wash program and chemical use

  1. Review the milking machine and vat wash program to ensure it still meets the programs recommended by the equipment manufacturer or dairy chemical adviser.
  2. Check/measure the volume of water used in each cycle of the wash program and whether it complies with the wash program.
  3. Check the solution temperature of each cycle and whether it matches the program.
  4. Check automatic chemical dosing pumps or manual chemical measuring procedures to ensure the correct volume of chemical is being used at each wash cycle.
  5. Double-check whether the volume of chemical calculated equates with the volume of chemical being purchased over a given period of time.

Hygiene observations

  1. Review the source of water used for cleaning the milking machine and vat. Is a better quality water available, requiring less chemical to achieve the same result?
  2. Review milk quality results, looking at Bactoscan/total plate count and thermoduric counts over time. Are these indicators well within target ranges?
  3. Check plant cleanliness. Are the milk contact surfaces clean? Check inside the bowl of the clusters furthest away from the receiver. Inside of the receiver and milk lines are also good places to check for deposits.
  4. Does the plant require frequent 'bomb' treatments to remain hygienic? If so, your routine cleaning program needs improvement.

Minimising residues

  1. Ensure the milking machine and vat drain completely after every cleaning. Cleaning solutions trapped in the pipework compromise hygiene and reduce milk quality at the next milking. Drainage issues may need investigating with a milking machine technician.
  2. Check and follow the label directions of dairy cleaning chemicals, particularly rinsing chemical sanitisers from the plant prior to the next milking.
  3. Consult with a dairy chemical adviser to choose dairy cleaning chemicals that have a low risk of residues. Some customers are very sensitive to particular cleaning chemicals

Products registered with the APVMA

Products registered with the APVMA containing QACs as an active constituent as at 15 July 2013

This list is indicative only. There may be other dairy cleanser products containing QACs that are no longer registered as they are being phased out, or products that contain QACs as an ingredient, but not an active constituent. For more information, talk to a dairy detergent adviser.

APVMA No  Company name  Product Name  Actives
52522 ADVANCE CHEMICALS ADVANCE WERTHEIM TWIN CLEAN LOW FOAMING ACID DETERGENT SANITISER BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / PHOSPHORIC ACID / SULFAMIC ACID / SULFURIC ACID
52566
AGVANTAGE PTY LTD / CATTLEKARE  EXCEL ACID PLUS ACID MILKSTONE REMOVER PHOSPHORIC ACID / QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUND
30030  DASCO  KLEER X LIQUID ACID DETERGENT  PHOSPHORIC ACID / QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUND 
53876  DASCO  MULTI-TEMP ACID DAIRY DETERGENT SANITIZER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / PHOSPHORIC ACID / SULFAMIC ACID / SULFURIC ACID 
60692  DELAVAL  DELAVAL ACIDET ACID MILKING MACHINE AND BULK MILK TANK DETERGENT SANITISER  GLYCOLIC ACID / PHOSPHORIC ACID / QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUND 
65106  ECOLAB  DAIRY POWER ALKASAN ALKALINE DAIRY DETERGENT & SANITISER  GLYCOLIC ACID / PHOSPHORIC ACID / QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUND 
51288  ECOLAB  DAIRY POWER FLEXI-TEMP ACID DAIRY DETERGENT & SANITISER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / GLYCOLIC ACID / ORTHO PHOSPHORIC ACID 
49188  ECOLAB  DAIRY POWER HYSAN ALKALINE DAIRY DETERGENT & SANITISER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / SODIUM CARBONATE / SODIUM TRIPOLYPHOSPHATE 
45901  ECOLAB  KLENZ-ALLTEMP ACID DETERGENT SANITISER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / PHOSPHORIC ACID / SULFAMIC ACID / SULFURIC ACID 
52986  MILESTONE CHEMICALS  MILESTONE DAIRY CLEANING SYSTEMS DAIRY PROOF  ALKALINE SALTS / QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUND 
51152
RUAKURA  SANIKLENZ LOW FOAMING ACID DETERGENT SANITIZER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / PHOSPHORIC ACID / SULFURIC ACID 
45318  TASMAN CHEMICALS  TANK AID PLUS BULK TANK CLEANER ACID SANITISER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / PHOSPHORIC ACID 
55486  TASMAN CHEMICALS  THERMOFLUSH MULTI ACID DAIRY DETERGENT SANITISER  GLYCOLIC ACID / PHOSPHORIC ACID / QUATERNARY AMMONIUM CHLORIDE 
30205  TRENT VALLEY / QUALCHEM  DIA-SAN DAIRY SANITISER  N-ALKYL DIMETHYL BENZYL AMMONIUM CHLORIDE 
30000  TRENT VALLEY / QUALCHEM  DUPLEX MULTI-PURPOSE ACID DAIRY DETERGENT SANITISER  BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE / SULFAMIC ACID 
Source: APVMA PUBCRIS database of agricultural and veterinary chemical products registered for use in Australia: https://portal.apvma.gov.au/pubcris. Accessed: 15 July 2013.


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