PRESS BULLETIN 120
Florlda Agricultural Experiment Stallon
CARE OF DAIRY UTENSILS
BY JOHN M. SCOTT
Cleanliness should be the motto of everyone who handles dairy products.
One of the main sources of greatest contamination is the pail or other
vessel in which the milk is received. This is due to the lack of proper
cleaning. If the dairy utensils are properly washed and thoroughly cleaned
twice each day, it will add greatly to the keeping quality of the milk and
butter. Perhaps the point in which we most frequently fail is in the
washing of the cans, strainers, and bottles used in the dairy. One has
often heard it said that it is hard to wash vessels that have contained
milk. So it is, but only if it is not done in the right way.
The water used for washing must be uncontaminated. This precaution
no dairyman can afford to neglect. In many instances where typhoid fever
has appeared, the source of the disease has been traced through the milk
to the water used in cleaning the dairy utensils. The milk was only the dis-
tributing agent, but the typhoid germs multiplied rapidly in it. Other
germs, besides those of typhoid, may be carried in the same way. Hence
the necessity of using pure water for cleaning all vessels.
Washing Dairy Vessels
All vessels should first be thoroughly rinsed with cold or warm-not
hot-water, to remove all traces of milk; and then scalded with boiling
water, which destroys the germs. Sterilizing with live steam is the best
method of destroying germs. Although this is not practicable on all farms,
yet every dairyman can do the next best thing, and that is to boil all the
vessels for a few minutes. This requires a boiler large enough to receive
the largest vessels. When removed from the boiling water, the vessels
should be set upside down, in a place which is free from dust, and quite
clean. The vessels are placed upside down so that they may drain thor-
If vessels are first washed with hot water, the heat causes the albumin
in the milk to coagulate and stick to the sides. As a result the vessels will
be greasy and sticky, and when in this condition they are certainly hard to
Frequently, on removing the vessels from the boiling water, they are
wiped with a cloth that is teeming with millions of germs. When vessels
July 17, 1909
are wiped with such a cloth, more germs are usually left in the vessels
than are removed. The boiling of the vessels is not for the purpose of
removing dirt, but to destroy germ life. Hence, after boiling, the vessels
should not be wiped, but set to drain dry.
The glassware used in the dairy should be washed in the same way.
However, the glass vessels may be thoroughly dried outside and inside with
a clean cloth, after being removed from the hot water. This must be done
while the vessels are still warm, and will give the glass a bright and clear
appearance, otherwise it would appear dull and cloudy. These vessels can
then be sterilized by heating in the oven. This wiping is not necessary
if a steam sterilizer is used.
Keeping the Vessels Clean
The vessels are often set down in a haphazard way and without any
thought of keeping them clean. They must not be kept in the barn or cow
lot where dirt is being blown about, and where the animals may get at
them. Neither should they be kept in a room that is used for a general
storeroom. Their proper place is in a room used for dairy utensils and for
nothing else, where they can be protected from dust and other impurities.
They should always be covered or inverted, after cleaning and drying, so
that no dust can get in.
Sunning Dairy Vessels
If the vessels are cleaned as directed, and sterilized by boiling, there is
no need to sun'them. But half-cleaned greasy vessels breed bacteria in the
dirt, and their condition can be improved somewhat by sunning them.
Sunlight destroys many of the organisms which cause the souring of milk.
An exposure of an hour and a half each day would not be too much. A
room with a southern aspect is best for this, if it has a large double window
admitting plenty of sunlight. It is not uncommon to see the dairy utensils
set out on the wood pile to sun. This method is usually worse than no
sunning at all, as the vessels catch dust laden with germs. The vessels are
sometimes turned upside down when sunning. When placed thus little
benefit is derived, as it is the inside of the vessels that needs the sunlight
and not the outside.
State papers please copy.