What to do When the Train Falls off the Rails?
We did a routine check on effectiveness of cleaning procedures on colostrum handling equipment. The previous check results were really good.
Oops! The train fell off the rails.
I use the Hygiena SystemSure Plus unit (luminometer) to do adenosine triphosphate (ATP) monitoring. The ATP test is a process of rapidly measuring actively growing microorganisms through the detection of adenosine triphosphate. An ATP monitoring system can detect the amount of microbial contamination that remains after cleaning a surface (for example, calf feeding equipment).
Here is where the train fell off the rails: (this farm set their standard for an acceptable clean surface is 100rlu)
Sample site Previous Current
Milker bucket used to collect colostrum 5 46
Plastic lid for milker bucket 0 5298
Tube feeder inside the bottle 0 10
Tube feeder inside tube at top where screws on bottle 0 1404
Tube feeder inside tube at ball end 12 3458
These tests were run on-farm with the maternity pen supervisor at my elbow. He was not a happy camper.
We checked out the sink where the milker bucket and lid were washed. Chlorinated detergent supply was okay, brushes were there. The plastic lid reading appeared to be a breakdown in protocol compliance. He was going to review cleaning procedures with the two employees that had responsibility for that cleaning job.
We checked out the sink where the tube feeder was washed. Supply of hot water was okay, chlorinated detergent supply was okay, brush for tube feeder bottle was there but the one for cleaning the inside of the tube itself was missing - just gone. A phone conversation with the guy that feeds and cleans this equipment turned up the fact that the brush had been missing for a week. [Note that the employee did not tell the maternity pen supervisor about the brush for a whole week!] I supplied a new brush from my truck.
Now we had a better idea why the calf care person had been using so much electrolyte solution for scouring calves the past couple of weeks.