Up-and-Down Bacteria Counts
A recent visit to a dairy gave me 10 "as-fed" colostrum samples. Click Here for a protocol for collecting "as-fed" colostrum samples.
They were cultured for bacteria. The results look like this: (TNTC = too numerous to count)
Sample Coliform Total Plate
Number Count Count
1 None None
2 None 600
3 2,000 9,000
4 1,500 22,500
5 5,200 10,200
6 20,000 21,500
7 22,000 22,800
8 25,000 43,000
9 ??? TNTC (Staph and Strep species) - plate overgrown
10 TNTC TNTC (mostly coliforms) - plate overgrown
Click Here for a description of consequences of high coliform counts in colostrum.
Are you thinking, "How can these samples be so different?"
First, the farm has unwritten protocols for colostrum collection and handling. When followed these protocols can result in quite clean colostrum - see samples 1 and 2.
Second, it seems obvious that not all colostrum is collected and handled according to the "word-of-mouth" protocols - see samples 6 through 10.
Maybe it is time to monitor protocol compliance. The procedure for monitoring protocol compliance that I prepared for checking on cleaning equipment is valid for this process as well. You can find it by clicking Monitoring protocol compliance.