Procedures for Using and
Occasionally improper milk sample collection may contribute to
increased bacteria counts. Regulatory milk samples must be collected
under sanitary conditions taking care to ensure there is no possible
contamination of the milk sample due to sampling technique or the
sampling tools used. Bulk Tank Milk Graders (BTMGs), more commonly
referred to as "drivers", carry a supply of sterile, individually
wrapped straws used for collecting a bulk tank milk sample at each
pickup. However, when bulk tank volumes are low and the Bulk Tank
Milk Grader cannot reach the milk, a sample dipper must be provided
by the producer. When it comes to using and maintaining sample dippers
both the producer and BTMG have responsibilities.
- Provide a sample dipper when requested by the BTMG.
- Ensure sample dipper is made of food grade material that is
easily cleanable (such as stainless steel or hard plastic) and
has smooth surfaces with no cracks or rough edges. Duct tape,
rust, wooden extension handles and painted surfaces are totally
- Make sure the sample dipper is clean. It is recommended that
producers clean with hot water and an appropriate cleaner, rinse
the dipper after each use and store it in a clean, dry location
until the next use. Dippers left in the wash sink often degrade
quicker because of the increased exposure to chemicals and heat.
- Provide an appropriate container filled with a sanitizing solution
prepared according to label instructions. For example, a 200 ppm
chlorine solution is recommended for sanitizing milking equipment
and can be prepared by mixing 1/3 ounce chlorine (10 milliliters
(ml)) to 1 gallon water. Sanitizing solutions lose their strength
with time so itmust be prepared fresh just prior to each milk
- Prior to milk collection, place the dipper in the container
of freshly prepared sanitizing solution for a minimum of 2 minutes
- After pickup, clean and rinse the dipper and return it to a
clean, dry location for storage until the next use.
- Take the sample dipper from the sanitizing solution container
being careful not to touch it to any surfaces.
- Do not rinse the dipper with tap water or set it down.
- To remove any residual sanitizing solution, 'rinse' the dipper
in bulk tank milk at least twice.
- Carefully fill sample vial with milk to the fill line on the
- Rinse the dipper with clean tap water and place in the sink.
Both producers and BTMG's have important roles to play in the proper
collection of a representative sample of milk. The sample taken
must represent the quality of milk in the tank, not the condition
of the sample dipper. Make sure you are doing your part.
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300