Finding antibiotics in milk
Those milk moustaches are a stroke of marketing genius. Just seeing them through the years evokes the health benefits of milk, from its proteins and calcium to its fortified vitamins. What we never see, however, is the growing global concern over the amount of antibiotic residuals that can be found in milk…
We have a lot more in common with cows than we think. For one thing, cows, like us, are susceptible to different kinds of bacterial infections. The most common of these is mastitis, an utter infection in lactating cows that breastfeeding moms can develop as well. Veterinarians treat the bovine infection with a variety of antibiotics. When they do, dairies are required to follow strict regulations about keeping the treated cow’s milk and beef out of circulation until the medication has passed through the cow’s system.
To ensure that happens in the U.S, raw milk and beef are screened for the most common types of antibiotics used in cows. For dairy, raw milk is tested at the farm and again at the processing plant to ensure that all drug residues are below established tolerance levels. While that works Finding Antibiotics in Milk CASE STUDY Food Quality and Safety for more than 98% of the milk and beef produced in the U.S., some antibiotics can still avoid detection. These drugs often fall outside of the screened antibiotics and some are not for animal use at all. The result is about 1.15% of raw milk tainted with some form of antibiotics evades detection every year. That may not seem like much until you realise it is equivalent to about five million 8-ounce glasses of milk!
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