Is it possible to be more transparent? Check out what we think here.

Your Safety is Our Priority

We value cleanliness and hard data to back it up

Safety is so very important, especially when you are producing raw milk. We go above and beyond to provide you with an ultra low risk product. 

Read on to learn all about our milk safety standards. If you have any questions, please contact us!

*We are certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture as a raw milk producer.


We milk our cows with lots of care.

We know that healthy cows, a clean dry barn, and meticulously clean equipment is key. Here is our milking procedure:

  1. Bring cows into the barn. They go into the same stall almost every time by themselves. They are clipped into place and their tails are clipped up to stay clean.

  2. Give cows hay and on demand water.

  3. Clear any manure and urine from the trough.

  4. Spread gypsum under cows to make sure the area and any manure is dry.

  5. Wash all milking equipment with soap and 180 F water.

  6. Wash rags with soap and 180 F water.

  7. Turn the milk agitator in the bulk tank on when starting milking.

  8. Wipe cows’ udders with iodine-soaked rags. Thoroughly clean the teats, making sure to get all dirt/manure out from every crevice. The cows are wiped 2-4 cows ahead of the milkers. If cows defecate or urinate before they are milked, they are cleaned again.

  9. Attach the milker to the cow and milk until no more comes out.

  10. Pour the milker into the bulk tank.

  11. Milk is cooled to 38-42 F within 10 minutes.

Cleanliness and accountability is just as important when bottling milk. Here is what our bottling procedure is like.

  1. When it’s time for bottling, clean all lines with soap and 180F water.

  2. Take a sample of milk from the bulk tank and do on farm CPC and SPC tests in the lab. You can check out our monthly test result averages on our Milk Safety page.

  3. Run the bottler until the bulk tank is empty.

  4. Milk bottles are immediately put in the cooler, kept at 38-42F.

  5. Take a bottle sample and do on farm CPC and SPC tests in the lab. You can check out our monthly test result averages on our Milk Safety page.

At the same time as milking, the calves get milk from the nurse cow. They are also given bottles of fresh milk.

At milking time, any cow that may be ill is given homeopathic remedies. This is rare and may be a result of a thorn in the hoof, mastitis, or another common cow illness.

As the farmer says, you need to “Keep the clean clean, cold cold, hot hot, and green green”.


We regularly test the milk and cows.

The State of Pennsylvania tests for general bacteria 2x per month at state certified labs. The state inspects the farm every 3 months for raw milk production safety standards. The cows are tested 2 times per year for pathogens at state-certified labs. And then there is an additional normal dairy inspections that comes 2 times per year.

-----

We test every batch of our milk on site. This is not required, but we do it anyway to produce the best product possible. Every batch is tested for:

  • TCC (total coliform count): This must be less than 10 culi/ml, as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This is the same standard for bottled water.
  • SPC (standard plate count): This must be less than 20,000, as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. This test lets us know the general hygiene of the milk and gives us a read of the quantity of bacteria present (sample taken from bulk tank and a finished bottle from every batch of milk).

-----

We third party test our milk periodically for:

  • SPC (standard plate count)
  • (SCC) Somatic Cell Count 
  • (TCC) Total Coliform Count
  • Salmonella (zero tolerance)
  • E.coli-O157:H7 (zero tolerance)
  • Listeria monocytogenes (zero tolerance)
  • Campylobacter jejune (zero tolerance)

-----

Also, our cows are blood tested by a licensed veterinarian every year to be verified free of:

  • Bovine tuberculosis - zero tolerance
  • Brucellosis - zero tolerance

Here are our most recent test results.

*Milk standards for pasteurized and raw milk are less than 10 Coliform and less than 20,000 SPC/APC

Month (Average) Coliform Limit SPC or APC Limit
Nov 2018 1.5 < 10 2850 < 20,000
Dec 2018 0.05 < 10 2090 < 20,000
Jan 2019 0.16 < 10 1700 < 20,000
Feb 2019 0.09 < 10 1066 < 20,000
Mar 2019 0.77 < 10 1355 < 20,000
Apr 2019 2.50 < 10 1034 < 20,000
May 2019 1.75 < 10 850 < 20,000
June 2019 1.86 < 10 967 < 20,000
July 2019 7.68 < 10 836 < 20,000
August 2019 2.72 < 10 736 < 20,000
September 2019 1.75 < 10 317 < 20,000
October 2019 0.68 < 10 638 < 20,000
November 2019 0.33 < 10 233 < 20,000
December 2019 0.22 < 10 822 < 20,000
January 2020 1.33 < 10 1900 < 20,000
February 2020 2.45 < 10 2136 < 20,000
March 2020 0.84 < 10 1020 < 20,000
April 2020 0.25 < 10 800 < 20,000
May 2020 1.25 < 10 3250 < 20,000
June 2020 2.83 < 10 1016 < 20,000
July 2020 6.8 < 10 867 < 20,000
August 2020 2.66 < 10 2167 < 20,000
September 2020 3.29 < 10 5624 < 20,000

Should I pasteurize my milk?

Whether to pasteurize or not is truly a personal choice. You can learn more about raw milk at www.realmilk.com and www.rawmilkinstitute.org.