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Division of the United States Bureau of Animal Industry, and one from the State agricultural college, are called upon to act in the rôle of judges. They are from far away, have official standing, and are recognized to be disinterested in local questions. The work of the inspecting department is concentrated upon getting to the health office laboratory one duplicate sample from every distributor, and more from the larger ones, in two or three days. These samples are taken from the wagons on the street, or in special cases, when wagons can not be found, from the distributors' ice boxes as the milk is ready to go out. They are examined by the visiting judges and scored for flavor, odor, visible dirt, acidity, and bottle and cap. The bacterial count, fat, and solids not fat are averaged with all the other samples taken during the contest period before being given a rating. The bacterial counts are numerically rated according to Dr. Charles E. North's curve. The average numerical rating obtained is referred back to the curve for count, and this is rated on the score card, according to directions printed on the back thereof. The curve is used because it works out more fairly than arithmetical averages.
When all of the score cards are made out they are divided into classes and published. A copy of the score card is mailed to each distributor. This 'requires a great amount of clerical work in the final tabulation, but after it is properly organized it can be carried out in a routine manner. With this system competition among the distributors becomes keen because the wide publicity given makes first place of real commercial value. Information on all the dairies is placed before the public, based on 100 points for perfect, in such a way as to be readily understood. The result is based on the quality of the milk extending over a long period, as it is actually delivered. No charge of unfairness can be substantiated, and the efforts of all are honestly directed toward getting a high score. Remarkable results have been secured by this system in a number of coast cities, particularly Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland, all of these cities not having had the advantages of a State law covering grading.
Dr. D. W. Mack, for many years in charge of the milk inspection service of the city of Portland, states: “I claim our contest work has done more in cleaning up our milk supply than all of our inspection work.” With this system, the 100,000 bacteria per cc. allowed for grade A raw milk in California is much higher than necessary. Only about 9 per cent of the Los Angeles supply is of this grade, but a very high percentage of it will regularly run under 10,000, and samples approximating or above the maximum are extremely rare.
During the past seven years I have known of several instances where large city milk plants have been able to improve greatly the quality of their supply by the employment of a man trained in dairy bacteriology, the installation of a laboratory, and the payment of a sliding scale bonus for quality, determined largely by bacterial count. The milk bacteriologist is of great value in getting efficient Pasteurization and sterilization inside the plant. He will also have some time to visit dairies, the milk from which is running high in bacteria. A proper type of men for this work is so valuable to city milk plants that it is hard to realize why so many distributors operate without such assistance.
I would also like to call attention to the importance, in getting results in health work in municipalities, of a definite policy carried
out over many years. Mediocre results, or gain and loss of ground, occur in many places on account of constant changing of personnel. with no definite policy. Dr. L. M. Powers, health commissioner of Los Angeles, has been in charge of the work of the health office for 28 years, and to his long tenure, ability, and vision are due the establishment of fundamental principles which have been developed and built upon gradually but surely. The many ramifications of the health office work render it impossible for the executive officer to attempt to administer the details in all branches with success. He must delegate authority to subordinates in charge of the various branches and hold them responsible for results obtained. This is difficult for many politically minded health officers to do, and it soon results in their becoming surrounded by a group of men lacking force and initiative, and the progress of the work suffers as a consequence.
The essential factors in developing the sanitary side of a municipal milk supply are:
1. A corps of full-time inspectors sufficient to handle the work.
2. A well-equipped health office laboratory, and laboratories in the milk plants.
3. A bonus system of payment to producers for quality. 4. Equipment of all dairies with sterilizers and having them regularly used.
5. A grading system. 6. The installation of continuous milk-scoring contest periods.
Chairman WELD. Is there any one here who desires to ask Doctor Hart a question?
Doctor BURRI (Switzerland). Does not the climatic condition have a great deal to do with keeping the count down? For instance, in California your cattle are out in the open the year round, whereas in colder countries they are kept in the barn part of the time. Is not the bacterial count less when the cows are in the fresh air all the time?
Doctor Hart. Not necessarily.
Chairman WELD. Dr. C. D. Pearce, chief of the bureau of dairy development, and chief veterinarian of the Borden Co., will discuss “ Methods employed within the industry to improve the quality of milk." I take great pleasure in introducing to you Doctor Pearce. [Applause.]
METHODS EMPLOYED WITHIN THE INDUSTRY TO IMPROVE THE
QUALITY OF MILK.
CHARLES D. PEARCE, D. V. M., chief, bureau of dairy development, The Borden
Co., New York City.
The agricultural and health departments of our Nation, State, and community have, for years, been endeavoring to correlate the economic problems of the production of milk with the necessary healthfulness, cleanliness, and keeping qualities of the finished product
. Big things have already been accomplished, but greater achievements
are on the horizon for the individual or company who can utilize the work that is being done and has been done, so that the dairyman can obtain a fair return for his work and investment and at the same time, be educated to produce a better product.
For many years the conditions on the farms have been depicted in writing by means of a score card. This is not a perfect system, but it serves a useful purpose and makes comparisons possible. It does not, however, measure the quality of the product. A man may have a fine equipment but produce a poor quality of milk. The reverse is likewise true, that good milk can be produced with poor equipment. Here is where the laboratory plays its part and determines by means of bacterial counts the quality of milk each dairyman delivers.
No system of dairy or laboratory control is of much use unless there is an organization to apply and follow up this work. We believe a veterinarian or a man with public health training, with country experience, should be in charge. Such a man is equipped to select and train as dairy inspectors men of elementary education who will carry out the detail work of dairy control. Local veterinarians may be employed to look after the health of the cattle, but we believe in having our own force, making our men a part of the organization, and having them take charge of the inspection work in their respective territories.
This body of men not only copes with any outbreak of disease, but becomes, if efficient, the educational medium in the dairy field, setting forth the best practices of sanitation, building construction, breeding, feeding, etc. The possibilities of this field are unlimited.
One other man plays a very important rôle, the receiving inspector, who links the factory with the field work. It is necessary for him to know milk in all its phases. He passes upon all milk received. If badly tainted or sour milk is passed by him, it may contaminate the output from that factory, whether it be manufactured or used for fluid milk distribution. As other controls come into use, the tendency is to relax upon the qualifications for this position, with the result that our old-time receiving inspector is slowly becoming extinct.
The results of dairy development are best seen whenever a new territory is opened. By attacking the worst condition first, praising the dairyman where praise 'is due, sympathizing with him in his losses, helping him to work out his problems, and supplying him with a steady market throughout the year, the territory slowly but surely begins to improve. The cows are groomed and free from hanging manure. The stables are whitewashed. The manure is stored where the cattle can not reach it. The yards are graded and drained. New stables, milk houses, and cement floors begin to appear. The utensils are properly constructed and well cared for. The milk is properly cooled and delivered. In fact, the whole district takes on new life, and the farms themselves increase in value. The proof that the milk supply has improved lies in the fact that our laboratories show a higher score for the dairies from a bacterial standpoint, and from 50 per cent to 75 per cent less milk has to be rejected for various causes. The inspection force builds up the territory while the laboratory determines how efficiently the dairymen use their equipment.
For the past few years a part of our supply has been bought, and a premium paid for a low bacterial content. Samples of each dairyman's milk are taken twice a week, and the bacteria determined by means of the plate method. One of these samples is taken from the morning's and the other from the night's milk. The average of these two counts gives the count for the week.' A dairyman producing milk of a bacterial count below 10,000 per cubic centimeter receives the flat price plus a premium of 40 cents a hundred. A dairyman producing milk of a bacterial count of from 10,000 to 25,000 per cubic centimeter receives the flat price plus a premium of 25 cents a hundred. All dairymen producing milk above 25,000 bacteria
per cubic centimeter receive the flat price. The flat price is based on a 3 per cent butterfat content. For each one-tenth of a per cent above this figure an additional premium of 4 cents is paid. The butterfat content is determined by the Babcock test.
A card is sent out every week to each dairyman, stating thereon the bacterial count of his milk. This allows him to check over his methods and to improve his supply before the next count is taken. A list of bacterial findings is given to the dairy, inspector, who, in turn, visits each dairyman having a high bacterial count. Ile also investigates all milk rejected for any cause. This follow-up work is for the purpose of locating and correcting trouble.
This grade of milk is designated as "grade A Pasteurized" by the department of health of New York City, and conforms to their rules and regulations relative to this grade. They permit but one grade of milk to be handled at a shipping station. In addition to our own inspection force, we receive the benefit from an inspection every three months by a representative of the department of health, who visits and makes out a score card for each dairyman producing this grade of milk. Our veterinarians, however, examine the cattle every six months in order to control more closely these grade A supplies, although only one examination is called for by the department of health code.
Inasmuch as milk for the first hour or two does not reflect a marked development of bacteria, warm morning's milk is accepted up to 8 o'clock in the morning. This allows all the stress for sufficient cooling to be placed on the night's milk, which must be cooled immediately after milking to at least 50° F., and delivery must be made at this temperature or below. It is our belief that the cooling should be done in cans surrounded by ice water and not by the use of an aerator.
In locating a grade A shipping station, we pick one of our stations showing the best sanitation, equipment, and cooling facilities. Our inspection force, headed by the veterinarian, makes a canvass of the territory, and brings the dairies into such condition that they will pass a department of health inspection. They also see that all ceilificates of health for the cattle are filed. Upon application, a department of health representative passes upon the factory and the dairies as a satisfactory supply for this grade of milk. Whenever a dairyman can not live up to the requirements, he is dropped until such time as he can comply. If a factory or a dairyman is emibargoed by a department of health inspector, such dairyman or factory can not be reinstated until passed upon by the department of health.
The buying of milk on this basis has worked out very satisfactorily as is evidenced by the following:
This milk came from 23 shipping stations, representing 1,400 dairies. In 1922, there were produced 150,000,000 pounds of grade A Pasteurized milk. In the same year, the sum of $427,000 was paid in. premiums.
Prior to the installation of premium payments for a low bacterial count, the grade A Pasteurized supply was bought on a flat price plus a premium based on a barn score. This did not improve our quality, as we had no check on the product. With the adoption of the present system, results were immediate. The dairy conditions were not only improved but the city consumer recognized an improved quality as shown by increased sales. The total daily consumption of grade A milk is now about 300,000 quarts in New York City proper, exclusive of the New Jersey suburbs. About 19 per cent of our supply is produced as grade A Pasteurized.
Other figures are available, which are of interest as they show how the dairymen reacted to the buying of milk on a bacterial basis. This work was started in July, 1917, at two factories where the milk prior to that time had been purchased as grade A Pasteurized on a barn-scoring basis. Two months later, in September, the counts are given for comparison, the milk having been bought in the meantime on a bacterial basis.
We will now discuss the control of the milk bought without any premium paid for a low bacterial content, which constitutes the bulk of the milk handled by us. This milk is bought on a butterfat basis, the same as the grade A Pasteurized, but without any other premium. In the New York City market, this is known as “grade B Pasteurized," and it conforms to the rules and regulations of the Department of Health of New York City relative to this grade. Our supplies