The real question is when are raw milk producers and supporters going to police their own? The order is a shock for those who profess that “knowing your farmer” will make food safe. Here are some highlights of what was going on at the farm:
- Extreme buildup of manure on virtually every surface in the dairy barn.
- Thick layers of cobwebs and dust coated the dairy barn ceiling.
- The milk house ceiling was water damaged and crumbling, a milk house wall was damaged, apparently by water, and not easily cleanable, and the floor was pitted and pooling liquids.
- Dead flies in cobwebs clung to the milk house walls and live flies were abundant.
- The exterior of the bulk tank and the floor behind it were notably dirty.
- The milking equipment, pipeline system, receiving jar, bulk tank and cleaning sinks were observed to have buildup inside and out.
- Flies and their droppings covered surfaces like the pipeline exterior.
- Milking equipment, such as the milker claws, which come in direct contact with milk, was improperly stored in the sink.
- Dead animals were observed in and around the dairy barn.
- Chickens roamed the milking barn and milk house.
- Barn and milk house doors were not tight fitting to exclude insects and other pests and stood open.
- Junk and weedy areas that provide harborage for insects and rodents were found in the milking barn and around the milk house and dairy plant.
- Dairy plant equipment, such as the butter packager, bottle washer and ice cream maker, was observed to be rusty and corroded or in otherwise unacceptable condition.
- Rodent droppings were found in the dairy plant’s utility room, through which people and product pass through from the bottling room to the rest of the dairy plant, and in the storage area above the processing areas.
“Know your farmer”