Consumers want to be confident that their dairy products are safe, natural, healthy and free of contamination.
Antibiotic residues in milk are a serious problem for human health. There is a concern that small amounts of certain antimicrobial agents may significantly shift the resistance patterns in the microbial population in the human intestinal tract. The residues could cause allergy and hypersensitivity in humans.
Antibiotic residues could also interfere with dairy ingredients and decrease their performance resulting in scrapping and major loss for the dairy plants. They could delay the starter cultures activity and impact the curd formation of milk, causing improper ripening of cheeses.
That is why all parties along the milk chain are interested in the absence of the residues in the milk– milk producers, milk purchasers and processors, the enforcement authorities and consumers.
Drugs are administered to dairy cows for treatment of mastitis and for disease therapy. Many drugs are retained in the animal body for longer times than indicated by label discard times. Consequently, milk samples remain positive for residues.
The primary control is on farm and begins with the correct prescription and administration of the antibiotics and the careful adherence to withdrawal periods. In short, milk producers must ensure that milk from animals under treatment or in the withdrawal period does not enter the food chain. The primary controls are complemented by the testing of milk for antibiotics, undertaken by food businesses at various points in the supply chain, including on farm. It is up to individual food business operators (including milk producers) to determine their own sampling and testing regime.
In order to ensure food safety the EU authorities imposed strict concentration limits for antibiotic residues. Chr. Hansen offers a complete range of antibiotic test kits to prevent the negative effects of antibiotic residues and to ensure that the milk processed at dairies is free of residues and safe for consumption.
To address this, a series of rapid tests have been developed that can function as a screening test. They are offering a quick answer for the presence or absence of a few antibiotics groups, and thus enabling efficient decision making on whether to accept or reject the milk.
Using the rapid tests, farmers can cost-effectively determine whether milk from animals treated with antibiotics can be delivered to the dairy. If the milk was not tested at the farm then the dairies are testing it before unloading the truck at the entrance of the plant. Until the milk is not proven to be free from any antibiotic residues it could not be cleared. It is an unwanted risk for the dairies to accept a tank of milk, without the confirmation that it is clean of drugs. At the same time waiting for a couple of hours is a time-consuming and costly business.
Tests for antibiotics
The rapid antibiotic screening test solutions answer to the needs for time-efficiency, safety and smooth production process. Using Chr. Hansen’s rapid tests the dairies can quickly have ready long lasting and clearly visible results in just about 5-10 minutes. The Betastar® family of rapid tests currently covers key antibiotic groups. The beta-lactams, tetracyclines, quinolones and other antibiotics as well as aflatoxin. The beta-lactam group is responsible for approximately 95% of all milk antibiotic contamination. The detection levels of the tests are in accordance with the EU, Russian and American standards. They are providing the farmers, producers and consumers with greater security. This easy-to-use format has wide acceptance in the international dairy market.
Control of antibiotic residues in milk with MilkSafe™ test and equipment. New antibiotic test kit range enables all players in the milk value chain to comply with increasing consumer demands and global legislation for food safety.