Milk’s Food Safety Story

  • Article
  • 1 min read January 6, 2017

From the farm to the dairy processing plant and then to the store, milk is strictly monitored to ensure the highest level of freshness, purity and great taste. As a result of these stringent food safety standards, milk is among the safest foods in the world.

How is that possible?

It starts on the farm. Our nation’s 43,000-plus dairy farm families are committed to producing high-quality milk, and maintaining proper animal care and environmental practices. That means farmers provide safe, comfortable housing for their animals, nutritious feed, regular veterinary care and sanitary milking conditions. Once cows are milked, there are several milk tests that are done. For example, milk is tested for antibiotics on the farm and once again when milk is delivered to the plant. Any milk that tests positive cannot be sold to the public.

At the processing plant, milk goes through several steps, including pasteurization and homogenization.

You play a role in food safety, too. There are several ways you can make sure your milk stays as fresh as possible. For example when at the store, pick up your milk last so it stays as cool as possible. Place milk in the fridge as soon as you get home. Store it at 40° F or below. 

Learn more about milk’s farm-to-table journey