Pre-Use Rinse Does Work!
Here are the data (RLU's - see below for explanation):
August September October
Nursing Bottle 191 3136 1
Nursing Nipple 1010 256 0
The farm uses an upper threshold for calf feeding equipment of 100.
I am using the Hygiena SystemSure Plus unit 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).
Thresholds used in the food processing industry are less than10 RLU for direct food contact surfaces and less than 50 RLU for environmental surfaces. I have been using a reading of 100 RLU as realistic on-farm upper threshold for calf feeding equipment
After the elevated readings in August and September the calf manager decided to add a "pre-use" rinse to their feeding routine. Starting at the beginning of October before starting the feeding this bottle is filled with warm water and health splash of household bleach - he shakes it and dumps out the rinse water. Then it goes into the feeding cart just in case it is needed.
The bottle is only used when a young calf fails to drink her milk. The bottle was not used the morning I swabbed the bottle and nipple.
What was the problem back in August and September? Several days may pass with the bottle not being used - yes, you are correct - this was an issue with bacteria regrowth following cleaning.
Now it is rinsed before each feeding just in case it will be needed.