for the Proper Collection of Milk Directly From the Udder
mastitis pathogens is an integral part of establishing an
effective mastitis control program. Proper aseptic technique
is critical for taking quality milk samples and avoiding the
introduction of environmental contaminates. The following
guidelines serve to assist individuals when taking milk
samples directly from the udder.
Samples should be collected
immediately before regular milking, working in a protected
area. Wear gloves while sampling and use new, clean towels
and swabs for each teat sampled.
Loose soils should be removed from the
animals and udders should be washed, especially under the
teats, before allowing cows to enter the sample collection
Fore-strip a few streams of milk from the
teat and sanitize with a disinfectant (e.g., 25 mg/L of
Iodophor or 0.5% Iodine).
Teats should be dried with clean, single
Teat canals should be disinfected by opening
the canal with finger pressure and swabbing with 70% alcohol
or isopropyl. Alternatively, teats can be dipped in an
Iodophor teat dip, allowed 10 seconds to disinfect, and then
swabbed with a cotton ball to remove excess dip.
Sanitize teats farthest away first and work
toward you, finishing with nearest teats.
Sample from the closest teats first and work
away from you, finishing with furthest teats.
Remove 2 streams of milk into a separate vessel before
collecting samples into sterile containers. Handle sample
containers and caps aseptically. Do not drop, lie down,
touch the inside of, or otherwise contaminate the containers
or caps. If the container becomes contaminated or is
suspect, discard it and use another. Containers should be
held at an angle in order to avoid contaminated debris from
falling into the collection container. Sample containers
should be labeled appropriately.
Samples should be refrigerated or placed
immediately in a sample case with ice and protected from
Preferably, samples should be transported to
the laboratory within 24 hours.