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Caren Posted - Nov 02 2015 : 7:13:47 PM

I went to a milk testing lab in Stephenville, TX to take dairy samples last week. While I was there I asked questions about the large dairies and their testing since they can't CMT 2,000 cows. They said most of them take bulk tank samples weekly to test SCC and mastitis cultures. They said Staph Aureous mastitis is sub-clinical and may not react to the CMT. So my questions is how can one by sure the milk is pathogen free 100% of the time? I know the answer for my perfectionist self, it is not possible.
I am thinking that maybe I should send samples in weekly? maybe that is extreme? I always over-do on the testing thing. Any thoughts or opinions?
Outside of the lab, the state has posters showing all the ailments dairy cows have these days. Yikes!
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maryjane Posted - Nov 04 2015 : 12:56:16 AM
While I was in NYC with my daughter last year for a couple of weeks, I watched a few "reinacted" ER shows in our hotel room. It was fascinating but I realized after it wasn't something I should do again because of all the what-ifs I started carrying around in my thoughts. Who needs that kind of imagery and tiny inklings of fear while in NYC none the less! Same thing goes for germs. Keep your immune system strong, take a few reasonable precautions, create good hand washing habits, and then fugetaboutit.

txbikergirl Posted - Nov 03 2015 : 2:49:59 PM
i think the great think caren is that you are very attentive to the details and concerned about it. the ones not concerned are the ones putting everyone at risk. talk to other raw milk farms like yours and see what they say. reevaluate EVERY single step of what you do and see if there is anything to be improved.

to me it sounds like you have the right concern given you are selling raw milk. that right there is a whole different ball of wax than just me milking one cow at home straight and only consumed right here by the family.
Caren Posted - Nov 03 2015 : 12:56:52 PM

I certainly need to lighten up a bit with the germ phobia. I do pet the cows but with gloved hands which is not the same. :(
The happy love factor would be best for all involved. I will change :)

Pearls of wisdom!

A humorous text conversation between a friend and I this week….
I showed her a knitting mistake that I made on a shawl. Her reply,
"I could not even tell until you pointed it out. No need to be perfect, I used to be that way, it is exhausting!"

There always seems to be a case of MRSA in our community so I have often wondered if the cows can contract it. Zoonotic?

If staph is everywhere, then I can not control it.

txbikergirl Posted - Nov 03 2015 : 07:47:19 AM
mary jane you are right on with that staph "all over the place" commentary. i have a compromised immune system. my hubby gets cold sores. when we got married i got a horrendous staph infection on my face that moved all through my throat and was from ear to ear, nose to chin- oozing out in places like a facial blemish, earring piercing, etc. disgusting.

it took this happening three times in two years before they figured out that it was actually just a cold sore gone bad, and they happened upon that because the initial sore was always in the same exact place. and only cold sores/herpes does that. it just so happens with my immune system when i get a cold sore the general staph we all have on us is really put into action with the open cold sore.

i got such an education in staph and cold sores, and now realize how misplaced any faith in the sterility of our general lives is ;> we are blessed to have germs and bacteria around us and we just need to respect them.

and hence why i drink raw milk and stay away from most of that processed stuff... and i would say "avoid" the processed stuff but with my latest kidney relapse we all know that would be an outright lie.
maryjane Posted - Nov 03 2015 : 05:52:28 AM
When it comes to cow licks, that's when I throw all caution aside and hope I've done a good enough job with our immune systems, parasite control, etc. Cow licks and kisses welcome here. Love is good for improving white blood cell counts:)

Caren Posted - Nov 02 2015 : 9:05:15 PM
Thank you for sharing information about staph. At the present we are only milking for our family and not sure if we want to continue selling raw milk to the public.

Our animals are tested and our milk samples have been very good, but the unknown is kinda scary.

Yes, I always tell visitors that the cows are clean that we humans have all of the germs.
They always look puzzled. Please no touching.
We are gloved at all times when handling the girls, I am so afraid that we may spread something to them. This is often difficult because they will follow and try to lick me if I am in their pasture.

So happy that you have set the gold standard, I greatly appreciate all you do and have done to promote milk safely.

maryjane Posted - Nov 02 2015 : 7:43:18 PM
I can just imagine this conversation reversed, two cows discussing how they can avoid getting staph from humans. Or TB. There have been recent outbreaks of TB that cows got from humans who recently immigrated and hadn't been tested. In my book I said I wear gloves when handling udders not only to keep me from getting what they may carry but to keep them from getting what I may carry.
maryjane Posted - Nov 02 2015 : 7:29:48 PM
Not only can you not be sure your milk is staph-free, you don't know if you're staph-free. It seems to me your best defense is a strong immune system.

"They cannot be seen with the naked eye, but bacteria cover the skin's surface. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also called staph bacteria, often live on people's skin, particularly around openings such as the nose, mouth, genitals, and rectum and sometimes inside the nose and mouth, without causing disease. But when a person's skin is broken or cut, the bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection. Staph infections range from minor skin infections to joint, bone, or lung infections to widespread or systemic infections. Some strains of staph produce a toxin (or poison) that causes illness.

Newborns, elderly people, and people with immune systems weakened by diseases such as cancer and AIDS are at greater risk of serious staph infections. Some serious infections can be acquired in a hospital when a patient is being treated for another condition.

Some species of staph bacteria are present on people's skin all the time. The more dangerous Staphylococcus aureus may come and go regularly from people's noses and skin. Skin infections caused by staph, such as boils, are quite common. Many staph infections are minor and do not require treatment; serious staph infections are less common."