The microbiological quality of milk is important not only for food safety, but it can also influence the quality of dairy products. In this study, our aim was to assess the microbiological status of the bulk milk of a milk-producing farm, and some natural and flavored (garlic, dill, onion) gomolya cheeses made from pasteurized milk produced by...their own processing plant. We determined the number of coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and molds of three milk and eight cheese samples. The tests were conducted between July and September, 2017.
In bulk milk, the mean coliform count was 3.83±0.17 log10 CFU/ml; the mean E. coli count was 1.38±0.14 log10 CFU/ml; the mean mold count was 3.74±1.30 log10 CFU/ml; and the S. aureus count was <1.00 log10 CFU/ml, respectively. The mean coliform count in gomolya cheeses was 3.69±1.00 log10 CFU/g; the mean E. coli count was 2.63±0.58 log10 CFU/g; the mean S. aureus count was 3.69±1.35 log10 CFU/g and the mean mold count was 1.74±0.37 log10 CFU/g. The amount of coliforms detected in different flavored gomolya cheeses were significantly different (P<0.05). More than 10 CFU/g of E. coli was found only in the dill flavored cheeses, and S. aureus was found only in dill (3.66±1.86 log10 CFU/g) and onion (3.71±0.52 log10 CFU/g) flavored gomolya cheeses. Based on the obtained results, it was found that the amount of coliform bacteria and E. coli in bulk milk exceeded the limit set in regulation of the Hungarian Ministry of Health (MoH) 4/1998 (XI. 11.) and the amount of S. aureus was below the limit. For gomolya cheeses, the S. aureus count exceeded the limit. The amount of coliform bacteria remained above the limit in cheeses, except for the garlic flavored gomolya cheese. In cheeses, a larger E. coli count was detected than in the bulk milk, but there is no specific limit for cheeses in the regulation. The mold count exceeded the limit specified in the regulation in cheeses, but a lower value was detected relative to milk.
The results show that, in the case of bulk milk and gomolya cheeses, certain detected quantities exceeded the limit values set forth in regulation of MoH 4/1998 (XI. 11.). The results indicate an inadequate microbiological state of the raw material and the finished products. The reasons for these are due to reduced technological hygiene or the inappropriate handling of raw material and finished products. In this study, we have summarized the results of our preliminary studies, which can provide a basis for further hygiene studies.
Two main channels have been identified to be responsible for microbiological contamination of raw milk and milk products. Firstly, contamination has occurred due to udder infection from the cow or the blood which harbours most bacteria that come in contact with the raw milk. Secondly, via external factors (may include faeces, skin, contaminated... water, environment etc.) which are associated with the operation of milking. There is direct contact with the milk and/or surfaces before, during or after the milking, posing public health risk and economic decline. The aim of this study was to examine the bacteriological quality of bulk tank raw milk samples collected from two different size dairy farms (Farm 1 and Farm 2) of different housing forms (cubicle loose and deep litter) in Hajdú-Bihar County, Hungary in July, 2017. Three samples were taken from each farm, and the total plate count, coliform count, Escherichia coli count, Staphylococcus aureus count, and yeast and mould count were determined in them.
The results clearly showed low level of all measured bacteria group load in Farm 1 samples in comparison to Farm 2 with the exception of coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CNS) which represented high level in general, indicating significant difference (P<0.05). The mean value of total plate count in Farm 2 samples was higher (1.0 × 105 CFU/mL) than Farm 1 samples (2.8 × 104 CFU/mL). There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in mean count of coliforms in raw milk samples between Farm 1 and Farm 2. Similarly, results of E. coli were significantly different (P<0.05) with mean count of 1.44 × 102 CFU/mL and 2.02 × 103 CFU/mL for Farm 1 and Farm 2 respectively.
Results of Staphylococcus aureus also showed significant difference (P<0.05) with mean count of 9.7 × 101 CFU/mL for Farm 1 and 6.28 × 102 CFU/mL for Farm 2. The mean of mould count recorded was 1.07 × 102 CFU/mL and 4.93 × 102 CFU/mL for Farm 1 and Farm 2 respectively. The recorded mean of yeast count was 1.68 × 103 CFU/mL and 3.41 × 103 CFU/mL for Farm 1 and Farm 2 respectively; however, both farms showed no significant difference (P>0.05) in terms of mean of mould and yeast count. Although Farm 2 produced six times lower milk quantity than Farm 1, the measured microbial parameters were high. Both farms’ microbiological numbers were higher above the permitted limit values as stated by Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, Hungarian Ministry of Health (MoH) 4/1998 (XI. 11.).
This could be an indication of non-conformance to effective GMP, ineffective pre–milking disinfection or udder preparation, poor handling and storage practice, time and temperature abuse and inadequate Food Safety Management System Implementation. Therefore, our recommendation is as follows; establish control measures for pre- and postharvest activities involved in the milking process which would be an effective approach to reduce contamination of the raw milk by pathogenic microorganisms from these farms, strict sanitation regime and hygiene protocol be employed and applied to cows, all equipment, contact surfaces and minimize handling of the milk prior, during and after milking. This will also serve as scientific information to the producers for continual improvement in their operations.