Microbial Analysis Of Raw Milk

Characterization of the microbial population in raw milk (see Chapter 17) is of particular interest to dairy farmers and processors for several reasons. As indicated in Table 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines detailed in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) require that total bacterial numbers of an individual producer's milk not exceed 100,000 cfu/mL before commingling with other producer milk; following pasteurization, total bacterial numbers are not to exceed 20,000 cfu/mL (U.S. Public Health Service, 1995). Therefore, the total bacterial count (TBC) of raw and pasteurized milk is determined to ensure that products meet FDA regulations. In addition, many processors and cooperatives have established price incentives or premium payments for raw milk with a low TBC. Thus, farmers and processors desire information about the TBC to determine premium allocations. The TBC is also of interest in

Table 2 Bacteriological Standards for Raw and Pasteurized Milk as Defined by the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance




Grade A raw milk and milk

Total bacterial count

< 100,000 cfu/mL before


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