Milk contamination

Milk contamination

Milk is a key asset and keeping it pure is priority one on a dairy farm. There is a lot you can do to protect the integrity of your milk supply, from contingency, maintenance and training plans to having the right milk cover. Here are some tips to get you started. 

We've also created a Milk Contamination Risk Advice Guide full of tips and advice to help you manage your milk quality.

FMG receives over 900 claims a year for milk spoilage and contamination, with over $2.6 million paid out in 2014/15. As a mutual, it’s our priority to help you reduce your exposure to milk losses, and to provide the right cover when you need it.

Types of milk claims

There are a range of causes of milk spoilage and contamination, with antibiotics accounting for just over a third of milk-related claims, followed by plant failure representing just over a quarter of claims. We also see claims due to process or human error, power failure, machinery breakdown or failure, wash water and cleaning, colostrum, birds and vermin.



Antibiotics claims

Almost one third of our milk claims are related to antibiotics. You can reduce the risk of an antibiotic incident by:

  • Having a documented milking process, understood and followed by all employees.
  • Marking suspected animals and removing them from the herd for assessment, treatment and any withholding period.
  • Reviewing any incidents in your milking process and updating your process to avoid future incidents.
  • Having a robust training programme in place.




Protecting your milk supply

  • Back-up systems – Power interruption can have a major impact on your ability to milk. It's essential to have contingency plans in place such as a generator and a back-up water supply that can connect to your plant.
  • Regular maintenance – Create a maintenance plan for your plant and equipment to minimise your chance of loss, and talk to your providers to negotiate a guaranteed level of service.
  • Staff training – Most losses associated with human error are from simple mistakes. For example, 88% of the human error milk claims we received over the last five years were from people forgetting to turn the chiller or agitator unit on. Having a consistent induction programme for new employees and an on-going training plan will help minimise losses. Check out Primary ITO and FarmSafe for a range of courses.




Milk cover

We have insurance policies available to cover the milk in your vat, your liability should you contaminate others' milk in the tanker or at the dairy company, as well as contractual penalties from your dairy company should you supply contaminated milk. For the right cover for your business contact us.

Tools and advice

Download this handy checklist or contact us and we can send you one.  You can also order our useful Milk Vat Sticker to remind workers to turn on the chiller to avoid milk spoilage.  Just fill in the form below and we'll get one out to you.

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