Control of contamination of farm tank milk (FTM) with the spore-forming butyric acid bacteria (BAB) is important to prevent the late-blowing defect in semi-hard cheeses. The risk of late blowing can be decreased via control of the contamination level of FTM with BAB. A modeling approach was applied to identify an effective control strategy at the farm level. The simulation model developed was based on a translation of the contamination pathway into a chain of unit operations. Using various simulations, the effects of factors related to feed quality, feed management, cattlehouse hygiene, and milking practices on the contamination level of FTM were evaluated. Contamination level of silage was found to be the most important factor. When silage contains on average less than 3 log(10) BAB/g, a basic pretreatment of udder teats before milking (similar to 75% removal of attached spores) is sufficient to assure an FTM contamination level below 1 BAB/mL. When silage contains more than 5 log(10) BAB/g, it should not be fed, because it then becomes almost impossible to assure an FTM contamination level below 1 BAB/mL. Measures aimed at improving cattlehouse hygiene, the contamination via soil, and the contamination level of other feeds contribute only marginally to the control of the contamination of FTM with BAB. Application of the modeling methodology could be beneficial for the control of the contamination of FTM with other microorganisms such as Bacillus cereus.
Vissers, M. M. M., Driehuis, F., te Giffel, M. C., de Jong, P., & Lankveld, J. M. G. (2006). Improving farm management by modeling the contamination of farm tank milk with butyric acid bacteria. Journal of Dairy Science, 89(3), 850-858. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(06)72148-8