Thermoduric is very much on the radar of milk processors and purchasers. Dairy farmers need to be aware of this and take active steps to reduce the risk of Thermoduric compromising milk quality. Thermoduric Bacteria is a form of heat resistant bacteria and capable of surviving milk pasteurisation. Thermoduric needs to be monitored as it can compromise milk quality, namely reducing milk shelf life and compromising milk as a food ingredient. We are going to examine the risk posed by Thermoduric Bacteria and look at ways dairy farmers can reduce this risk through dairy hygiene practises.

Thermoduric Bacteria is an environmental bug, meaning they are ever present in the environment around the cow. It is soil borne so during the summer it resides in the soil and dust where the cows graze outside. While in winter, the bacteria are present in mucky fields and in certain types of bedding when the cows are housed indoors. The bacteria attach itself to the cow’s teat and enters the system during the milking process. It can then be transferred to the milking equipment and the bulk tank. Thermoduric is a clingy bacteria and will affix itself to any part of the milking equipment from cluster liners to milk deposits. As a result, farmers need to be extra vigilant with Thermoduric management and reduction.

To help farmers combat the threat of Thermoduric, we have devised a simple 3 step plan using the Fourtress products.

Step 1 Pre clean cows prior to applying clusters

This is a very simple yet effective step. It can be done in one of two ways depending on individual farmer practise:

  1. Pre-spray with DairyLac SA Pre & Post Spray and wipe the teats with a paper towel.
  2. Pre-cleanse teat with a Fourtress Udder Wipe.

The cleaning solution and the wiping motion are both required to remove this bug from the teats prior to the milking process.

Step 2 Perfect the wash routine

Farmers need to ensure that the detergent and descale products are being used at correct rates. If Thermoduric results are elevated, include an additional descale into the wash programme to assist this. It is vital to ensure that there are adequate hot water washes within the weekly routine, add in an extra hot wash if possible. We would recommend using DairyWash or DairyCIP (Chlorine Free) detergent with Descale Ultra. When Thermoduric bacteria enter the system, they will stick to anything from fats to lime scale to any cracks in rubberware. Therefore, it is very important to replace any old or worn rubberware and check that vacuum lines are clean.

Step 3 Sterilise and destabilise 

The final step is to use a steriliser, such as Clustersan, in the final rinse water of the wash. Peracetic Acid is the preferred chemical as it vaporises once it has served its purpose. It is a commonly used chemical in the food industry so it is of an exceptionally high grade. It will sterilise the system while destabilising any remaining bacteria.

By following these simple steps and using high quality products, farmers can lower the risk of Thermoduric Bacteria entering their milk supply. A high standard of dairy hygiene will help to improve milk quality thus benefiting animal health, milk processers and farmers.