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Improving milk safety at farm-level in an intensive dairy production system: relevance to smallholder dairy producers

Improving milk safety at farm-level in an intensive dairy production system: relevance to... Objective: This paper discusses methods for improving milk safety in smallholder dairying. Methodology: Analyzing best practices/experiences of selected countries and Ethiopian dairy farming as a case study (household survey and milk testing). Results: The coliform count was slightly higher than European standard. The value of total bacterial count found was higher than the standard of bacteriological quality of milk. Somatic Cell count is slightly higher than US standard, but it is in the range of the EU standard. Moreover, there were other associated challenges facing dairy farmers, including shortage of feed concentrate and water, milk marketing, health of dairy stock, and manure management. Some better practices were also observed including literacy and dairying experience of smallholder dairy producing- households. Despite this, increased availability of some dairy stakeholders and their efforts would also be an added advantage. The efforts of private veterinarians to engage in provision of drugs and on-call home-treatment for stall-fed cows were good, but this needs to be complemented with laboratory based-diagnostic/clinical and advisory services prevent diseases. Conclusion: Improvement of milk safety can be achieved through good management practices by dairy farmers, market incentives, and increased efforts of various stakeholders and the adoption of best practices. In this regard, a coordinated action involving all stakeholders is needed to implement preventative/control measures, quality management strategies, and appropriate regulation while supporting and building capacity of smallholder dairy producers to minimize risks associated with milk production. Key words: milk safety; challenges; prevention; intensive dairy systems; smallholders; dairy farms. intensify for it to contribute to food and nutrition security in develop- Introduction ing counties (McDermott et al., 2010; Cronin et al., 2014). Thus, they The dairy industry is continually changing and contains great poten- must be carefully managed to make sure that smallholders are in a tial for growth in developing countries due to a rise in demand for position to take full advantage of the prospects in this rapidly chan- milk and milk products (USDA, 2010; FAO, 2011). However, these ging sector. Although the growth in the dairy industry can improve new opportunities with the associated rapidly changing patterns the livelihoods of farmers through increased income and sustainabil- of competition, consumer preferences, and market standards may ity (Ndambi et al., 2007), it is essential to keep in mind the import- challenge the ability of smallholders to be competitive (Gerosa and ance of producing a quality product that is safe for the consumer. Skoet, 2012). To achieve this, smallholder livestock farming needs to © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Zhejiang University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 136 H. Lemma D. et al., 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 Milk is highly nutritious and an important part of diets across During the survey, there were 100 actively participating mem- the globe, but is also a perfect medium for the growth of several bers of the dairy cooperative and they all were benchmarked and pathogens of public health significance (Kenny, 2013). Most of chosen for household survey. Similarly, 100 non-members who reported cases of dairy-related illness are of bacterial origin, mainly sell milk to private processors were randomly sampled from lists due to consumption of unpasteurized milk (Brady et  al., 2014). of 300 dairy producers at milk collection centres. Accordingly, a Good hygienic conditions are required to produce safe milk products total of 200 households from Ada’a dairy cooperative members of acceptable quality for the consumer (O’Connor, 1995; Angelidis, and non-members were sampled for the study. 2015). Quality and safety is also a valid indicator of overall post- harvest losses (post-milking waste) (Weaver and Kim, 2001). Good Data collection and data analysis product quality facilitates marketing and is a necessity to intensify Data on milk bacterial and somatic cell counts (SCC) and farm production and to attain food security (Francesconi and Ruben, household characteristics and practices that may affect the 2012). Unsafe food products with poor nutritional values may cre- safety of milk, including education, milk consumption, waste ate disease and malnutrition. Therefore, milk safety needs to be con- management, and housing, were collected using raw milk sam- sidered as it is one of the challenges to intensification (process) as a pling and a structured questionnaire. More than the minimum main global public health and livelihood issue. sample size (20%) (Thrusfield, 2007) (up to 84 sample sizes) Smallholder farm households lack the capacity to supply suf- was employed for milk sampling. It was also supplemented with ficient good quality raw milk to meet the demand, including inef- key informant interviews, on-site observation, and review of sec- ficiency in milk collection and loss through wastage and spoilage ondary sources (analysis of documents). Milk samples were ana- and challenge of converting the informal sector to a formal sector. lysed by means of laboratory grades and standards (O’Connor, Another challenge facing food safety policy makers is to balance the 1995; Downes and Ito, 2001). Data from the dairy farm surveys goals of consumer and livelihood security. and laboratory milk tests were analysed using descriptive statis- However, human population, urbanization, and dairy marketing tics of SPSS (2011). options have led to the intensification of smallholder dairy production system. In an emerging market, quality and safety of milk supplies Literature review are expected to become increasingly important. Milk safety problems that are more likely to prevail at farm and/or feed chains have been Based on synthesis of several peer-reviewed articles and docu- identified as a pressing concern in Ethiopia. There is a substantial gap ments, information on raw milk safety concerns, experiences of between policy and practice due to lack of suitable regulations, infra- ensuring food safety in other countries, control and prevention of structure, and manpower (Jabbar and Grace, 2012). Moreover, evi- milk-borne pathogens, and implementation of safe food practices is dence on effective and sustainable interventions to ensure food safety discussed below in local markets is scarce (Grace, 2015), particularly, in the face of intensifying dairy production systems in developing countries. Raw milk safety concerns and constraints Most studies have focused on microbial counts of milk and their Environmental impact, markets, health (human health, food public health concerns but they failed to provide practical recom- safety, and animal health), and institutional arrangements need mendations on how smallholder dairy producers get to such a situ- to be addressed in order to alleviate their negative effects and ation and on the remedial action/support needed to improve milk enhance the useful contributions of sustainable livestock intensi- quality. There is knowledge on regulatory and management practices fication (Zijpp et al., 2010; HLPE, 2016). The presence of food- required for the production of safe milk. In this regard, the challenge borne pathogens in milk is determined by the health and hygiene is to exploit the pool of relevant knowledge available and to bench- of the dairy stock, environment, the raw milk quality, milking mark it to the local situation to address the concerns of milk safety and pre-storage conditions, available storage facilities, and the appropriately in the developing world. workforce (FAO, 2013). Thus, this paper synthesizes the current state of knowledge and best More than 90 per cent of all reported cases of dairy-related ill- practices/experiences through an in-depth literature review of a number ness are of bacterial origin, which is mainly due to consumption of of aspects of milk quality/safety at farm level (e.g. influential factors, unpasteurized milk (te Giffel, 2003). Milk production losses of up relevant dairy stakeholders, problems and methods of dealing with to 20 per cent in many herds has occurred as the result of high TBC them, and mitigation strategies to improve milk quality). It was comple- and SCC (Bao, 2011). Thus, testing raw milk is crucial to help ensure mented with a case study on dairy farms in Ethiopia. Implications for safety and quality, such as microbial quality, water adulteration, and further research, policy, and interventions have been highlighted. the presence of mastitis in the herd. However, problems associated with the analysis of milk microbial quality have been encountered Materials and Methods due to variations in sampling techniques, laboratory quality, data cleaning (outliers), and lack of interdisciplinary research and inter- Case study area and dairy households ventions by both dairy and public health professionals, etc. The case study was done in the Ada’a district of Ethiopia, which is The source of microbial contamination of milk can be from an area with emergent smallholder dairying and with a sturdy dairy within the udder, from the exterior of the teats and udder, and from marketing cooperative. The cooperative has 10 milk collection cen- the milk handling and storage equipment (Robinson, 2002). These tres, to which members supply milk two times a day. Quality tests can be reduced by cleaning and disinfection of equipment, teats, and (lactometer and alcohol) to check water adulteration and acidity are udders before and after milking (Slaghuis et al., 2002). conducted at collection centres. Most of the milk collected is used to make pasteurized milk. Private milk processing enterprises include Experiences of ensuring milk safety in other Holland Dairy PLC, Genesis Farms, and Sebeta Agro-Industry/ countries MAMA milk. The dairy cooperative was established to develop producers’ In recent years, milk safety has received a lot of attention in both access to markets, which is a driving factor for dairy intensification. the developed and developing worlds. Relevant experiences, Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 Improvements in milk safety, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 137 practices, and other effective or sustainable approaches need to and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) implements and enforces be considered to help smallholders produce safe milk of accept- food regulations. The Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR) able quality. Lessons can be drawn from other countries on various applies to both domestic and imported foods and requires all sectors aspects of quality milk production, food safety assurance systems of the food industry to have their products certified according to (regulations/quality control aspects) in order to develop appropri- FSSAI regulations (Economic Research Service/USDA, 2017). ate strategies to mitigate problems. China USA Some 1.5 million smallholders (98% of milk producers) each man- Prior to delivering raw milk to the dairy plant, dairy processors aging up to 20 cows (80% have fewer than 5 cows) produce two- test all incoming milk for safety and quality parameters, including thirds of the milk supplied in China. China’s milk processors have organoleptic, bacterial, antibiotic, and milk components. If safety set up a number of community-based units or ‘dairy parks’, where standards are not met, the tanker load of milk is discarded, and the smallholders keep and milk their cows. Each unit holds between dairy farm recognized as the source of this milk must bear the cost of 300 and more than 1000 cows. The park helps keep costs low and the entire milk. State and regulatory agencies control the dairy pro- improve milk quality. They are financed by either the processors, cessor’s activities by making unexpected on-site audits to collect milk the local authority, or the smallholders themselves (Dugdill et  al., samples and evaluate industry information (USDHHS et al., 2000). 2013). The Chinese Dairy Park Collective business model—where Milk processing plants follow the HACCP system throughout the investments in processing are driving growth—is a good example of manufacturing process, which includes steps to monitor and min- this approach. imize any food safety risks. Government at federal, state, and local Laws related to food safety remain underdeveloped in terms of levels, all stakeholders in the dairy industry, and consumers share the coverage, overlap, and consistency. There is a multitude of volun- responsibility for protecting the quality and safety of milk (USDA tary and mandatory food safety certification and labelling schemes and USDHS, 2000). The industry is expected to abide by the regula- for food products. Nearly half of Chinese firms in the private sec- tions regarding milk production and processing and may, in add- tor dealing with Western food distributers and retailers that were ition, implement many voluntary practices to protect dairy foods. inspected did not meet the safety standards set by their clients and The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory lacked the training or equipment necessary to maintain food safety officials have worked closely with dairy farmers and processors to (Chen et al., 2015). maintain compliance with regulations and practices to ensure a safe However, Pei et  al. (2011) documented that in response to the milk supply (USDHHS et al., 2005). occurrence of food-related problems, food legislation and the food The FDA takes the prime responsibility for the safety of milk safety system have been changed. China has improved its recent distributed between states (Dairy Council Digest, 2002). The FDA food safety regulatory system reforms after that of the EU regulatory is also the agency tasked with the implementation and enforcement framework, including coregulation, centralism, farm-to-fork regula- of standards for domestic and imported foods. The United States- tory approach, science-based risk assessment, and operator duty. Environment Protection Agency (US-EPA) is a standard-setting The Ministry of Agriculture regulates food safety at the farm. The organization commended with registration and licensing the use of Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine pesticides, establishing the chronic reference dose, and setting max- regulates food safety at the food processing stage and at imports imum residue limits or tolerances. and exports. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce The goals of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) of regulates food safety at the marketing stage. The State FDA regu- FDA are to encourage the establishment of effective milk hygiene lates the safety of catering services and health. The National Health programmes in each state, to motivate the implementation of and Family Planning Commission conducts risk surveillance and risk adequate milk control legislation, and to boost the application of assessments (Chen et al., 2015). enforcement procedures through proper legal and educational meas- The National Food Safety Committee was set up to manage the ures (Hickey, 2009). The risk of adverse health effects is low due to overall supervision of food safety and coordination between the dif- a strong regulatory system (National Dairy Council, 2000). Most ferent departments (Chen et  al., 2015). A  number of certification producers strive to meet stricter values often linked to quality incen- programs, and ramped up inspections and testing have been adopted tives or ‘premium’ payments offered by cooperatives or other buyers to provide greater food safety assurance to consumers and to ensure of raw milk. compliance with the government-established safety standards. Dairy companies have also adopted food safety programs, particularly European Union HACCP practices (Wang et al., 2008). The European Union (EU) approach to milk safety is similar to that of the USA (Nag, 2010). The three organizations that are account- Kenya able for food safety control in the EU are the Directorate General for Public Health and Consumer Protection, the Food and Veterinary In Kenya, there are over 1.8 million smallholder milk-producing Office, and the European Food Safety Authority (Zheng, 2012). households (over 80% of the national dairy herd), who each own Their goals are to guarantee a high level of food safety and animal one to three cows (KDB, 2015). Smallholder dairy farmers generally and plant health through coherent farm-to-table measures, monitor- operate a mixed crop-dairy farming system (Moll et al., 2007). The ing, and ensuring an effective market within the EU. bulk of marketed milk (~70%) is sold as raw fresh milk directly to consumers through informal market channels (KDB, 2015). India Official recognition of this informal market, through such things Dairy production in northern India involves large numbers of as certification based on training in safety and quality, has allowed smallholders who contribute to the provision of milk for the sur- significant benefits to both producers and consumers (Kaitibie et al., rounding urban markets (Robinson et  al., 2011). The Food Safety 2009). The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) is the main regulatory body Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 138 H. Lemma D. et al., 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 that undertakes licensing of dairy premises, monitors the safety and containers, and milk safety hazards (hygienic practices and condi- quality of dairy foods, and inspects dairy plants (Jabbar and Grace, tions, and safe feed and water, good usage of antibiotics/drugs (with- 2012). The KDB has initiated Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) drawal time) and pesticides, etc.). Dairy farmers need management training at the Dairy Training Institute for all the value chain stake- services to support their decision making on issues including milk holders to improve hygienic and safe milk handling (Ministry of quality (Noordhuizen, 2002). Farmers must be capable, education- Livestock Development, 2010). ally and financially, of making the changes needed to satisfy qual- Milk safety is required through food safety standards and regu- ity standards (Chamberlain and Cowan, 2003). They need to be lations for milk and dairy products, mainly the Dairy Industry Act provided with incentives for improving milk quality through better (CAP 336) and the Public Health Act (CAP 242). Efforts are being prices (premiums) (Van den Berg, 1990). made to blend standards across the East Africa region (FAO, 2011). Minimizing the initial microbial load in fresh milk and preventing Steps taken included as follows: registering primary producers; the growth of microorganisms are key to safeguarding the safety of considering permits for transporting milk from one point to another; milk and dairy products. Thus, results of quality tests must be quickly giving licenses for the sale of milk and dairy products; setting speci- reported to farmers so they can take action, and skilled advisers fied materials and standards for the dairy equipment used; certify- should be available to help farmers recognize their quality problems ing premises for milk sales by public health officials; inspecting milk and solve them practically (Chamberlain and Cowan, 2003). handling personnel to ensure they adhere to public health require- In general, although milk and dairy products can transmit haz- ments; and licensing dairy managers after meeting specific education ards, there are effective control measures that can reduce the risk to standards (FAO, 2011). human health. Milk is pasteurized to extend shelf-life and eliminate pathogens. The first step in supplying clean, safe milk, and dairy Control and prevention: implementing safe food practices products is to produce good quality clean milk from healthy animals. The challenge to all food safety policy makers is to ensure that Moreover, natural inhibitory systems in milk prevent significant rises appropriate measures are taken to prevent foodborne illnesses and in bacterial counts for the first 2 to 3  h at ambient temperatures to support implementation of safe food practices; to educate dairy (Dugdill et al., 2013). Cooling to 4°C within this period maintains farmers, suppliers, and consumers; and to also promote economic the original quality of milk. Other options available to retard spoil- development of the dairy sector (Kenny, 2013). Food safety man- age are the Lactoperoxidase System (LP-s) (FAO, 2013). The use of agement requires considering microbiological hazards and how their the antibacterial activity of the lactoperoxidase enzyme system has presence in foods can be prevented or maintained within tolerable been trialled successfully in countries such as Kenya, Sri Lanka, and levels. Factors that may influence the microbiological load include Mexico (FAO/WHO, 2006). Good hygienic practices in milk pro- herd size, location of milk collection centre, temperature of the milk duction are critical to the effectiveness of the LP-s. Thermization and at delivery, availability of a cold chain, and time of transportation addition of carbon dioxide are other techniques that can extend the (Kenny, 2013). shelf-life of raw milk (Manners and Craven, 2003). Product quality still depends on controlling entry and growth Stepwise transfer of the information on milk quality standards of microorganisms in milk at all levels of milk value chain (Hassan and improvement of hygiene management at production chains is and Frank, 2011). The importance of raw milk to the dairy indus- crucial. Furthermore, the application of simple and effective hygiene try points to the necessity for having a system functional at the measures is needed to increase food quality (Hamann, 2010). Many farm-level to safeguard the safety of the milk supply (Valeeva et al., milk collection centres, cooperatives, and processing plants imple- 2005b). The best means to address food safety is through a risk- ment raw milk–quality control measures by using quality tests such based, farm-to-fork approach that focuses on cost-effective preven- as a lactometer reading (adulteration) and an alcohol test (fermen- tion and controls throughout the supply chain and providing support tation). There are quality standards for whole milk (compositional for capacity building and supply chain coordination, and improve and bacteriological) in Ethiopia (Ethiopian Standard, 2009), even (market) incentives for food safety management (Unnevehr, 2015). though no information was available as to its implementation by A policy and legislative framework for food safety and quality, the relevant regulatory body. To take specific actions by any country, sufficient infrastructure, and properly trained inspectors is required reliable information is necessary about the existing situation of food if responsible authorities are to function efficiently. This would pro- safety or food-related health hazards, food safety regulations, and vide a coordinated and a preventive approach to food safety man- their implementation (Jabbar and Grace, 2012). agement along the milk value chain (Kenny, 2013). Recommended good dairy farming practices, namely, animal Case Study: Results and Discussion health, milking hygiene, nutrition, animal welfare, environment, and Milk quality socio-economic management need to be in place. Most imperative is to minimize contamination at the farm-level by control of micro- Laboratory analysis performed during the present study showed that bial contaminants in feed, facility hygiene, cleanliness of cows, good bovine milk samples had mean values of 2.86: 6.87 log cfu/ml and animal health management to avoid mastitis, effective cleaning and 5.39 log cells/ml for TBC, coliform count (CC), and SSC, respect- disinfection procedures of milking equipment, and rapid cooling ively (Table  1). The practice of treating milk before consumption of milk to temperatures of 4ºC or less (te Giffel and Wells-Bennik, differed significantly across production systems (P < 0.001). Eighty- 2010). Traceability and record keeping are also required in key areas four of the dairy producers boiled milk prior to consumption, which including use of agricultural chemicals, veterinary medicines, animal is important to reduce risk of disease transmission. The remaining feed, and identification of individual animals (Burgess, 2010). small proportion used both raw and boiled milk, especially in rural Critical points at the dairy farm include the expertise of the production systems. milker, health of cow, hygiene of the milking equipment and pro- The CC was in the range of the Ethiopian standard (<4.69 log duction environment, waste management time and temperature cfu/ml). The value of TBC found was slightly higher than the stand- during transport of milk to the collection centre, sanitation of milk ard of bacteriological quality of milk (<6.30 log cfu/ml) (Ethiopian Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 Improvements in milk safety, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 139 Table 1. Descriptive statistics of microbial counts and water adulteration of milk; CC, coliform count; TBC, total bacterial count; SCC, som- atic cell count Milk quality Dairy production systems N Mean/% Std. Deviation Minimum Maximum CC Rural dairy system 41 3.02 0.39 2.00 4.04 Urban dairy system 43 2.85 0.61 0.00 3.94 Total 84 2.93 0.52 0.00 4.04 TBC Rural dairy system 27 6.85 0.86 5.08 7.58 Urban dairy system 30 6.96 0.66 5.30 7.59 Total 57 6.91 0.76 5.08 7.59 SCC Rural dairy system 31 5.45 0.45 4.16 5.99 Urban dairy system 31 5.32 1.08 0.00 5.97 Total 62 5.39 0.82 0.00 5.99 Water adulteration Rural dairy system 37 1.58 – 0.00 8.84 Urban dairy system 44 3.26 – 0.00 15.80 Total 81 2.49 – 0.00 15.80 Standard, 2009). The SSC value is higher than the US standard its use to preserve milk until delivery to the processing plants, which (<200,000 cells/ml or 5.30 log cells/ml) (Ruegg, 2003), but it is were 3 h away from the collection sites (Ashenafi, 2002). in the range of the EU standard (<400,000 somatic cells/ml or 5.60 log cells/ml) (More, 2009). Different values have been previously Challenges of household dairy management and reported for microbial counts in milk in Ethiopia, including values production practices of 7.58 log cfu/ml for TBC and 4.49 log cfu/ml for CC reported 10 10 by Asaminew and Eyassu (2011) and a CC of 8.58 log cfu/ml for The major challenges according to dairy farmers’ responses were CC (Gemechu, 2016). The overall TBC and CC of raw milk were shortage of feed concentrate and water, improved breeding, milk 7.32 log cfu/ml and 4.84 log cfu/ml, respectively, according to marketing, health of dairy stock, and manure disposal (Figure  1). 10 10 Derese (2008). Herd health problems were significantly varied across dairy produc- Even though there were individual household variations on tion systems (P < 0.05). These included inaccessibility of veterinary managing milk safety issues in the study area, the secondary level services (10%), death (9%), disease occurrence (6%), and expensive education and dairy experiences of household heads might have con- private veterinary services (5.5%). Eighty-six per cent of dairy pro- tributed to moderate microbial counts, including hand and udder ducers respected the withdrawal period after medical treatment of washing before milking, towel (40% of the farms) or other cloth their dairy cows. Twenty-five per cent of dairy producers (mainly (30%) used to wipe/dry udder, individual use of wiping material urban) reported that they have a manure disposal problem, which (65%), frequency of cleaning milk utensils (72% thrice and 17% differed significantly across dairy production systems (P < 0.001). In four times) and using hot water (43%) in addition to detergent, fre- this regard, manure disposal practices in the current study included quency of barn cleaning (47% twice and 36% thrice daily), floor storage in the rainy season and sun-drying to make dung cake for type (73% concrete), keeping withdrawal period (86%), and water fuel in the dry season (69.5%), biogas digester (22%), and transpor- source (87% tap and 13% well hand pump). tation to another area (8.5%). It was also observed that some urban Lack of support in mastitis control/prevention and use of alumin- dairy farms rented truck to take liquid manure from their farm stor- ium cans or stainless steel milk containers, tap water and electrical age every 3 or 4 months. outages, and manure management affected the efforts of the produc- Lumpy skin disease, mastitis, lameness, and milk fever affected ers to better improve milk quality, comply with hygienic dairy man- dairy cows, which are diseases associated with intensification. Most agement practices, and continue market participation. Therefore, dairy producers respected drug withdrawal periods, which would the milk quality issues need to be managed through understanding partially respond to concerns regarding antibiotic residues. However, the needs of smallholder dairy producers. In this regard, dairy inter- haphazard use of antibiotics to treat livestock in intensive produc- vention and extension services need to introduce inputs including tion systems also calls for effective veterinary services. information on appropriate milk utensils, and knowledge transfer The government veterinary service faced a budget shortfall and regarding dairy management and safe milk production. Milk collec- lack of resources (no veterinary laboratory facilities). The efforts of tion points should be accessible and strategically located, sheltered private veterinarians to engage in retailing of drugs and on call home and with cooling capacity, and also milk should be transported using treatment for stall-fed cows were good, but it should be comple- refrigerated vehicles to the processing plant. mented with laboratory-based diagnostic and advisory services to Some small-scale technologies have been recommended to pre- prevent or control diseases. serve milk. There are innovative cooling methods such as solar ice- There were similar reports of veterinary problems in Ethiopia cooling facilities that can help farmers preserve milk immediately and elsewhere. In Ethiopia, veterinary service delivery is deemed after milking and allow them to market good quality milk (Makoni inadequate (Moti et  al., 2013). Kitaw et  al. (2012) also reported et al., 2013). Bovine milk has a naturally occurring inhibitory system that veterinary service is the least commercialized among inputs called the lactoperoxidase system. As the system is more effective at of dairying with provisions limited to drug vending. On the other 30°C than at 4°C, it is useful to preserve raw milk in case refriger- hand, services from private veterinarians are expensive and with ation is not available (Jay, 1996). Taye et al. (1999) assessed the pre- limited outreach. Distant location or unavailability of adequate vet- servative effect of lactoperoxidase system for preservation of milk erinary services and high cost of medicines were problems in rural for 3  h longer than the untreated control, and they recommended Bangladesh (Shamsuddin et  al., 2007; Quddus, 2012; Hamid and Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 140 H. Lemma D. et al., 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 Feed & water 71% breeding 36% milk markeng 32% Animal health 31% Manure disposal 25% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Figure 1. Frequencies of dairy producers–faced challenges. Hossain, 2014) and in India (Mohi and Bhatti, 2006). In Bangladesh, For instance, public- and private-sector stakeholders identified in there was also experience of community-based veterinary service Ethiopia include as follows: the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry delivery, and substantial improvement has been made in prevention, Institute; Ministries of Livestock and Fisheries, Urban works/Urban control and treatment of diseases, calf health, and udder health man- agriculture; veterinary services (government and private); veter- agement (Shamsuddin, 2011). inary drug providers, Feed and Animal Products Quality Control Concerning manure handling, it is better to expand the availabil- Authority; Food, Medicine, and Health Care Administration ity of biogas digesters in order to address the wood fuel shortage, Authority; dairy producers; dairy cooperatives and private milk pro- and the residue can also be used as a fertilizer for crops. Other means cessors; feed suppliers; and academic/research institutions. such as charcoal making and disposal to rural areas for compost There are dairy boards in different countries, e.g. KDB, Irish making aimed at maintaining soil fertility can also be introduced Dairy Board, and Dutch Dairy Board. However, the establishment as part of the sustainable solutions in using this valuable resource. of a dairy board in Ethiopia is problematic as there are overlapping The above-mentioned good manure practices are also supported mandates of the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Institute in coordinat- by the work of different authors. Manure is among the most import- ing interventions to improve milk safety. Thus, this institute is rec- ant contributions of intensified livestock rearing and has a role in ommended to be the most fitting public body to organize all dairy sustainability (Ehui, 2000). Adoption of improved manure handling industry stakeholders. The regulatory issue can be dealt with by the techniques is crucial in stall-fed cattle (Paul et al., 2009). Biogas tech- Veterinary and Feed Administration and Control Authority and nology is an environmentally friendly method of manure manage- Food, Medicine, Health Care Administration Authority. ment and energy generation to reduce methane and odour emission Livestock or dairy science professionals and veterinarians are (FAO, 2013; Siegmeier et al., 2015). integral to alleviate these problems, including designing a dairy inter- All of the studied dairy producers kept their stock in separate vention project, advising development agencies, informing policy, housing in the rural and (peri-) urban dairy production systems. and other mechanisms that can support the smallholder dairy pro- However, cattle shelter design or barn construction need to be sci- ducers to ensure safe milk production. entifically and appropriately designed to suit the smallholder dairy A private company in Ethiopia, Hiruth milk production and situation, which would make the barn clean, dry, and comfortable. processing enterprise, showed how a milk processor’s effort can In general, prevention of microbial contamination of milk requires help alleviate some of the problems associated with improving milk a combination of measures such as maintaining animals in a healthy quality. The company made available resources such as feed to its condition, cleaning udders and rear quarters of the cow, cleaning milk suppliers on a credit basis, educated them, and paid a quality- milk contact surfaces and equipment, sanitary milk production prac- based price premium (based on bacterial count and fat) (Steen and tices by milk handling personnel, and avoiding excessive airborne Maijersb, 2014). This incentive could motivate milk producers to contamination (Ashenafi, 2002). focus on quality and buy better quality feed, reduce adulteration, and provide better storage conditions for the milk. Similarly, other dairy stakeholders in the milk chain need to contribute to bring about Potential stakeholders and suggestions for sustainable results. In fact, the stakeholders would require adequate implementation of milk quality management knowledge and capacity to apply preventive practices and control program in Ethiopia measures to overcome milk quality and safety problems and share Food safety regulations and implementation of mitigation strate- relevant information with others in the chain. They need to work in gies are duties shared by dairy stakeholders. Guaranteeing the food a carefully planned and integrated manner to create an organized safety systems will need organized actions across policy, regulatory, quality and safety control system consisting of appropriate preven- surveillance, and control measures to reduce the risk of foodborne tion and control measures. illness. Every government needs to consider these issues and invest Before enforcement of milk quality standards, there is a need to in the appropriate steps from production to consumption. Adoption provide land tenure security, input, and support services including of better practices for food safety and bringing about change should improved dairy management techniques for (peri-) urban small- take into account not only scientific knowledge as to how a safe holder dairy farmers who supply milk to processors. Furthermore, product can be manufactured but also socio-economic factors. the ultimate quality control will take time to be fully operational, Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 Improvements in milk safety, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 141 because of the complexity of the animal production and food chains. 7. Multi-disciplinary research (veterinary and public health) to Thus, a pilot scheme should be implemented to test the adoption by deal with milk quality challenges, to further test and strengthen stakeholders of the appropriate quality control measures. the prevention and control programs protecting the safety of milk, and to define the responsibilities of public, private, and cooperative organizations. Conclusions 8. Properly equipped and qualified laboratories, adequately trained personnel, and analytical methods that are fast, affordable, and This paper analysed best practices, challenges, and opportunities reliable are among the key factors essential for attaining food to improve raw milk quality/safety for stall-fed, zero-grazed dairy quality and safety. production on smallholdings. The CC found in the case study was 9. The efforts of private veterinarians to engage in provision of in the range of the Ethiopian standard. The value of TBC found drugs and offer mobile or on call home treatment for confined was slightly higher than the standard of bacteriological quality of cows should be complemented with laboratory-based diagnosis milk. SCC was higher than the US standard but was within the before prescribing antibiotics. range of the EU standard. Moreover, there were other associated 10. Increasing awareness of consumers on handling of dairy challenges facing dairy farmers, including shortage of feed concen- foods and their nutritional value through agricultural, dairy, trate and water, milk marketing, health of dairy stock, and manure and human health extension services are needed as all have disposal. roles to play. As we move forward to meet increasing food demands through intensive farming, food safety will continue to be a high priority, Conflicts of interest statement. None declared. particularly for smallholder dairy producers. 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Improving milk safety at farm-level in an intensive dairy production system: relevance to smallholder dairy producers

Food Quality and Safety , Volume 2 (3) – Sep 1, 2018

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Oxford University Press
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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Zhejiang University Press.
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2399-1399
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2399-1402
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10.1093/fqsafe/fyy009
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Abstract

Objective: This paper discusses methods for improving milk safety in smallholder dairying. Methodology: Analyzing best practices/experiences of selected countries and Ethiopian dairy farming as a case study (household survey and milk testing). Results: The coliform count was slightly higher than European standard. The value of total bacterial count found was higher than the standard of bacteriological quality of milk. Somatic Cell count is slightly higher than US standard, but it is in the range of the EU standard. Moreover, there were other associated challenges facing dairy farmers, including shortage of feed concentrate and water, milk marketing, health of dairy stock, and manure management. Some better practices were also observed including literacy and dairying experience of smallholder dairy producing- households. Despite this, increased availability of some dairy stakeholders and their efforts would also be an added advantage. The efforts of private veterinarians to engage in provision of drugs and on-call home-treatment for stall-fed cows were good, but this needs to be complemented with laboratory based-diagnostic/clinical and advisory services prevent diseases. Conclusion: Improvement of milk safety can be achieved through good management practices by dairy farmers, market incentives, and increased efforts of various stakeholders and the adoption of best practices. In this regard, a coordinated action involving all stakeholders is needed to implement preventative/control measures, quality management strategies, and appropriate regulation while supporting and building capacity of smallholder dairy producers to minimize risks associated with milk production. Key words: milk safety; challenges; prevention; intensive dairy systems; smallholders; dairy farms. intensify for it to contribute to food and nutrition security in develop- Introduction ing counties (McDermott et al., 2010; Cronin et al., 2014). Thus, they The dairy industry is continually changing and contains great poten- must be carefully managed to make sure that smallholders are in a tial for growth in developing countries due to a rise in demand for position to take full advantage of the prospects in this rapidly chan- milk and milk products (USDA, 2010; FAO, 2011). However, these ging sector. Although the growth in the dairy industry can improve new opportunities with the associated rapidly changing patterns the livelihoods of farmers through increased income and sustainabil- of competition, consumer preferences, and market standards may ity (Ndambi et al., 2007), it is essential to keep in mind the import- challenge the ability of smallholders to be competitive (Gerosa and ance of producing a quality product that is safe for the consumer. Skoet, 2012). To achieve this, smallholder livestock farming needs to © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Zhejiang University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact journals.permissions@oup.com Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 136 H. Lemma D. et al., 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 Milk is highly nutritious and an important part of diets across During the survey, there were 100 actively participating mem- the globe, but is also a perfect medium for the growth of several bers of the dairy cooperative and they all were benchmarked and pathogens of public health significance (Kenny, 2013). Most of chosen for household survey. Similarly, 100 non-members who reported cases of dairy-related illness are of bacterial origin, mainly sell milk to private processors were randomly sampled from lists due to consumption of unpasteurized milk (Brady et  al., 2014). of 300 dairy producers at milk collection centres. Accordingly, a Good hygienic conditions are required to produce safe milk products total of 200 households from Ada’a dairy cooperative members of acceptable quality for the consumer (O’Connor, 1995; Angelidis, and non-members were sampled for the study. 2015). Quality and safety is also a valid indicator of overall post- harvest losses (post-milking waste) (Weaver and Kim, 2001). Good Data collection and data analysis product quality facilitates marketing and is a necessity to intensify Data on milk bacterial and somatic cell counts (SCC) and farm production and to attain food security (Francesconi and Ruben, household characteristics and practices that may affect the 2012). Unsafe food products with poor nutritional values may cre- safety of milk, including education, milk consumption, waste ate disease and malnutrition. Therefore, milk safety needs to be con- management, and housing, were collected using raw milk sam- sidered as it is one of the challenges to intensification (process) as a pling and a structured questionnaire. More than the minimum main global public health and livelihood issue. sample size (20%) (Thrusfield, 2007) (up to 84 sample sizes) Smallholder farm households lack the capacity to supply suf- was employed for milk sampling. It was also supplemented with ficient good quality raw milk to meet the demand, including inef- key informant interviews, on-site observation, and review of sec- ficiency in milk collection and loss through wastage and spoilage ondary sources (analysis of documents). Milk samples were ana- and challenge of converting the informal sector to a formal sector. lysed by means of laboratory grades and standards (O’Connor, Another challenge facing food safety policy makers is to balance the 1995; Downes and Ito, 2001). Data from the dairy farm surveys goals of consumer and livelihood security. and laboratory milk tests were analysed using descriptive statis- However, human population, urbanization, and dairy marketing tics of SPSS (2011). options have led to the intensification of smallholder dairy production system. In an emerging market, quality and safety of milk supplies Literature review are expected to become increasingly important. Milk safety problems that are more likely to prevail at farm and/or feed chains have been Based on synthesis of several peer-reviewed articles and docu- identified as a pressing concern in Ethiopia. There is a substantial gap ments, information on raw milk safety concerns, experiences of between policy and practice due to lack of suitable regulations, infra- ensuring food safety in other countries, control and prevention of structure, and manpower (Jabbar and Grace, 2012). Moreover, evi- milk-borne pathogens, and implementation of safe food practices is dence on effective and sustainable interventions to ensure food safety discussed below in local markets is scarce (Grace, 2015), particularly, in the face of intensifying dairy production systems in developing countries. Raw milk safety concerns and constraints Most studies have focused on microbial counts of milk and their Environmental impact, markets, health (human health, food public health concerns but they failed to provide practical recom- safety, and animal health), and institutional arrangements need mendations on how smallholder dairy producers get to such a situ- to be addressed in order to alleviate their negative effects and ation and on the remedial action/support needed to improve milk enhance the useful contributions of sustainable livestock intensi- quality. There is knowledge on regulatory and management practices fication (Zijpp et al., 2010; HLPE, 2016). The presence of food- required for the production of safe milk. In this regard, the challenge borne pathogens in milk is determined by the health and hygiene is to exploit the pool of relevant knowledge available and to bench- of the dairy stock, environment, the raw milk quality, milking mark it to the local situation to address the concerns of milk safety and pre-storage conditions, available storage facilities, and the appropriately in the developing world. workforce (FAO, 2013). Thus, this paper synthesizes the current state of knowledge and best More than 90 per cent of all reported cases of dairy-related ill- practices/experiences through an in-depth literature review of a number ness are of bacterial origin, which is mainly due to consumption of of aspects of milk quality/safety at farm level (e.g. influential factors, unpasteurized milk (te Giffel, 2003). Milk production losses of up relevant dairy stakeholders, problems and methods of dealing with to 20 per cent in many herds has occurred as the result of high TBC them, and mitigation strategies to improve milk quality). It was comple- and SCC (Bao, 2011). Thus, testing raw milk is crucial to help ensure mented with a case study on dairy farms in Ethiopia. Implications for safety and quality, such as microbial quality, water adulteration, and further research, policy, and interventions have been highlighted. the presence of mastitis in the herd. However, problems associated with the analysis of milk microbial quality have been encountered Materials and Methods due to variations in sampling techniques, laboratory quality, data cleaning (outliers), and lack of interdisciplinary research and inter- Case study area and dairy households ventions by both dairy and public health professionals, etc. The case study was done in the Ada’a district of Ethiopia, which is The source of microbial contamination of milk can be from an area with emergent smallholder dairying and with a sturdy dairy within the udder, from the exterior of the teats and udder, and from marketing cooperative. The cooperative has 10 milk collection cen- the milk handling and storage equipment (Robinson, 2002). These tres, to which members supply milk two times a day. Quality tests can be reduced by cleaning and disinfection of equipment, teats, and (lactometer and alcohol) to check water adulteration and acidity are udders before and after milking (Slaghuis et al., 2002). conducted at collection centres. Most of the milk collected is used to make pasteurized milk. Private milk processing enterprises include Experiences of ensuring milk safety in other Holland Dairy PLC, Genesis Farms, and Sebeta Agro-Industry/ countries MAMA milk. The dairy cooperative was established to develop producers’ In recent years, milk safety has received a lot of attention in both access to markets, which is a driving factor for dairy intensification. the developed and developing worlds. Relevant experiences, Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 Improvements in milk safety, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 137 practices, and other effective or sustainable approaches need to and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) implements and enforces be considered to help smallholders produce safe milk of accept- food regulations. The Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR) able quality. Lessons can be drawn from other countries on various applies to both domestic and imported foods and requires all sectors aspects of quality milk production, food safety assurance systems of the food industry to have their products certified according to (regulations/quality control aspects) in order to develop appropri- FSSAI regulations (Economic Research Service/USDA, 2017). ate strategies to mitigate problems. China USA Some 1.5 million smallholders (98% of milk producers) each man- Prior to delivering raw milk to the dairy plant, dairy processors aging up to 20 cows (80% have fewer than 5 cows) produce two- test all incoming milk for safety and quality parameters, including thirds of the milk supplied in China. China’s milk processors have organoleptic, bacterial, antibiotic, and milk components. If safety set up a number of community-based units or ‘dairy parks’, where standards are not met, the tanker load of milk is discarded, and the smallholders keep and milk their cows. Each unit holds between dairy farm recognized as the source of this milk must bear the cost of 300 and more than 1000 cows. The park helps keep costs low and the entire milk. State and regulatory agencies control the dairy pro- improve milk quality. They are financed by either the processors, cessor’s activities by making unexpected on-site audits to collect milk the local authority, or the smallholders themselves (Dugdill et  al., samples and evaluate industry information (USDHHS et al., 2000). 2013). The Chinese Dairy Park Collective business model—where Milk processing plants follow the HACCP system throughout the investments in processing are driving growth—is a good example of manufacturing process, which includes steps to monitor and min- this approach. imize any food safety risks. Government at federal, state, and local Laws related to food safety remain underdeveloped in terms of levels, all stakeholders in the dairy industry, and consumers share the coverage, overlap, and consistency. There is a multitude of volun- responsibility for protecting the quality and safety of milk (USDA tary and mandatory food safety certification and labelling schemes and USDHS, 2000). The industry is expected to abide by the regula- for food products. Nearly half of Chinese firms in the private sec- tions regarding milk production and processing and may, in add- tor dealing with Western food distributers and retailers that were ition, implement many voluntary practices to protect dairy foods. inspected did not meet the safety standards set by their clients and The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory lacked the training or equipment necessary to maintain food safety officials have worked closely with dairy farmers and processors to (Chen et al., 2015). maintain compliance with regulations and practices to ensure a safe However, Pei et  al. (2011) documented that in response to the milk supply (USDHHS et al., 2005). occurrence of food-related problems, food legislation and the food The FDA takes the prime responsibility for the safety of milk safety system have been changed. China has improved its recent distributed between states (Dairy Council Digest, 2002). The FDA food safety regulatory system reforms after that of the EU regulatory is also the agency tasked with the implementation and enforcement framework, including coregulation, centralism, farm-to-fork regula- of standards for domestic and imported foods. The United States- tory approach, science-based risk assessment, and operator duty. Environment Protection Agency (US-EPA) is a standard-setting The Ministry of Agriculture regulates food safety at the farm. The organization commended with registration and licensing the use of Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine pesticides, establishing the chronic reference dose, and setting max- regulates food safety at the food processing stage and at imports imum residue limits or tolerances. and exports. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce The goals of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) of regulates food safety at the marketing stage. The State FDA regu- FDA are to encourage the establishment of effective milk hygiene lates the safety of catering services and health. The National Health programmes in each state, to motivate the implementation of and Family Planning Commission conducts risk surveillance and risk adequate milk control legislation, and to boost the application of assessments (Chen et al., 2015). enforcement procedures through proper legal and educational meas- The National Food Safety Committee was set up to manage the ures (Hickey, 2009). The risk of adverse health effects is low due to overall supervision of food safety and coordination between the dif- a strong regulatory system (National Dairy Council, 2000). Most ferent departments (Chen et  al., 2015). A  number of certification producers strive to meet stricter values often linked to quality incen- programs, and ramped up inspections and testing have been adopted tives or ‘premium’ payments offered by cooperatives or other buyers to provide greater food safety assurance to consumers and to ensure of raw milk. compliance with the government-established safety standards. Dairy companies have also adopted food safety programs, particularly European Union HACCP practices (Wang et al., 2008). The European Union (EU) approach to milk safety is similar to that of the USA (Nag, 2010). The three organizations that are account- Kenya able for food safety control in the EU are the Directorate General for Public Health and Consumer Protection, the Food and Veterinary In Kenya, there are over 1.8 million smallholder milk-producing Office, and the European Food Safety Authority (Zheng, 2012). households (over 80% of the national dairy herd), who each own Their goals are to guarantee a high level of food safety and animal one to three cows (KDB, 2015). Smallholder dairy farmers generally and plant health through coherent farm-to-table measures, monitor- operate a mixed crop-dairy farming system (Moll et al., 2007). The ing, and ensuring an effective market within the EU. bulk of marketed milk (~70%) is sold as raw fresh milk directly to consumers through informal market channels (KDB, 2015). India Official recognition of this informal market, through such things Dairy production in northern India involves large numbers of as certification based on training in safety and quality, has allowed smallholders who contribute to the provision of milk for the sur- significant benefits to both producers and consumers (Kaitibie et al., rounding urban markets (Robinson et  al., 2011). The Food Safety 2009). The Kenya Dairy Board (KDB) is the main regulatory body Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 138 H. Lemma D. et al., 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 that undertakes licensing of dairy premises, monitors the safety and containers, and milk safety hazards (hygienic practices and condi- quality of dairy foods, and inspects dairy plants (Jabbar and Grace, tions, and safe feed and water, good usage of antibiotics/drugs (with- 2012). The KDB has initiated Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) drawal time) and pesticides, etc.). Dairy farmers need management training at the Dairy Training Institute for all the value chain stake- services to support their decision making on issues including milk holders to improve hygienic and safe milk handling (Ministry of quality (Noordhuizen, 2002). Farmers must be capable, education- Livestock Development, 2010). ally and financially, of making the changes needed to satisfy qual- Milk safety is required through food safety standards and regu- ity standards (Chamberlain and Cowan, 2003). They need to be lations for milk and dairy products, mainly the Dairy Industry Act provided with incentives for improving milk quality through better (CAP 336) and the Public Health Act (CAP 242). Efforts are being prices (premiums) (Van den Berg, 1990). made to blend standards across the East Africa region (FAO, 2011). Minimizing the initial microbial load in fresh milk and preventing Steps taken included as follows: registering primary producers; the growth of microorganisms are key to safeguarding the safety of considering permits for transporting milk from one point to another; milk and dairy products. Thus, results of quality tests must be quickly giving licenses for the sale of milk and dairy products; setting speci- reported to farmers so they can take action, and skilled advisers fied materials and standards for the dairy equipment used; certify- should be available to help farmers recognize their quality problems ing premises for milk sales by public health officials; inspecting milk and solve them practically (Chamberlain and Cowan, 2003). handling personnel to ensure they adhere to public health require- In general, although milk and dairy products can transmit haz- ments; and licensing dairy managers after meeting specific education ards, there are effective control measures that can reduce the risk to standards (FAO, 2011). human health. Milk is pasteurized to extend shelf-life and eliminate pathogens. The first step in supplying clean, safe milk, and dairy Control and prevention: implementing safe food practices products is to produce good quality clean milk from healthy animals. The challenge to all food safety policy makers is to ensure that Moreover, natural inhibitory systems in milk prevent significant rises appropriate measures are taken to prevent foodborne illnesses and in bacterial counts for the first 2 to 3  h at ambient temperatures to support implementation of safe food practices; to educate dairy (Dugdill et al., 2013). Cooling to 4°C within this period maintains farmers, suppliers, and consumers; and to also promote economic the original quality of milk. Other options available to retard spoil- development of the dairy sector (Kenny, 2013). Food safety man- age are the Lactoperoxidase System (LP-s) (FAO, 2013). The use of agement requires considering microbiological hazards and how their the antibacterial activity of the lactoperoxidase enzyme system has presence in foods can be prevented or maintained within tolerable been trialled successfully in countries such as Kenya, Sri Lanka, and levels. Factors that may influence the microbiological load include Mexico (FAO/WHO, 2006). Good hygienic practices in milk pro- herd size, location of milk collection centre, temperature of the milk duction are critical to the effectiveness of the LP-s. Thermization and at delivery, availability of a cold chain, and time of transportation addition of carbon dioxide are other techniques that can extend the (Kenny, 2013). shelf-life of raw milk (Manners and Craven, 2003). Product quality still depends on controlling entry and growth Stepwise transfer of the information on milk quality standards of microorganisms in milk at all levels of milk value chain (Hassan and improvement of hygiene management at production chains is and Frank, 2011). The importance of raw milk to the dairy indus- crucial. Furthermore, the application of simple and effective hygiene try points to the necessity for having a system functional at the measures is needed to increase food quality (Hamann, 2010). Many farm-level to safeguard the safety of the milk supply (Valeeva et al., milk collection centres, cooperatives, and processing plants imple- 2005b). The best means to address food safety is through a risk- ment raw milk–quality control measures by using quality tests such based, farm-to-fork approach that focuses on cost-effective preven- as a lactometer reading (adulteration) and an alcohol test (fermen- tion and controls throughout the supply chain and providing support tation). There are quality standards for whole milk (compositional for capacity building and supply chain coordination, and improve and bacteriological) in Ethiopia (Ethiopian Standard, 2009), even (market) incentives for food safety management (Unnevehr, 2015). though no information was available as to its implementation by A policy and legislative framework for food safety and quality, the relevant regulatory body. To take specific actions by any country, sufficient infrastructure, and properly trained inspectors is required reliable information is necessary about the existing situation of food if responsible authorities are to function efficiently. This would pro- safety or food-related health hazards, food safety regulations, and vide a coordinated and a preventive approach to food safety man- their implementation (Jabbar and Grace, 2012). agement along the milk value chain (Kenny, 2013). Recommended good dairy farming practices, namely, animal Case Study: Results and Discussion health, milking hygiene, nutrition, animal welfare, environment, and Milk quality socio-economic management need to be in place. Most imperative is to minimize contamination at the farm-level by control of micro- Laboratory analysis performed during the present study showed that bial contaminants in feed, facility hygiene, cleanliness of cows, good bovine milk samples had mean values of 2.86: 6.87 log cfu/ml and animal health management to avoid mastitis, effective cleaning and 5.39 log cells/ml for TBC, coliform count (CC), and SSC, respect- disinfection procedures of milking equipment, and rapid cooling ively (Table  1). The practice of treating milk before consumption of milk to temperatures of 4ºC or less (te Giffel and Wells-Bennik, differed significantly across production systems (P < 0.001). Eighty- 2010). Traceability and record keeping are also required in key areas four of the dairy producers boiled milk prior to consumption, which including use of agricultural chemicals, veterinary medicines, animal is important to reduce risk of disease transmission. The remaining feed, and identification of individual animals (Burgess, 2010). small proportion used both raw and boiled milk, especially in rural Critical points at the dairy farm include the expertise of the production systems. milker, health of cow, hygiene of the milking equipment and pro- The CC was in the range of the Ethiopian standard (<4.69 log duction environment, waste management time and temperature cfu/ml). The value of TBC found was slightly higher than the stand- during transport of milk to the collection centre, sanitation of milk ard of bacteriological quality of milk (<6.30 log cfu/ml) (Ethiopian Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 Improvements in milk safety, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 139 Table 1. Descriptive statistics of microbial counts and water adulteration of milk; CC, coliform count; TBC, total bacterial count; SCC, som- atic cell count Milk quality Dairy production systems N Mean/% Std. Deviation Minimum Maximum CC Rural dairy system 41 3.02 0.39 2.00 4.04 Urban dairy system 43 2.85 0.61 0.00 3.94 Total 84 2.93 0.52 0.00 4.04 TBC Rural dairy system 27 6.85 0.86 5.08 7.58 Urban dairy system 30 6.96 0.66 5.30 7.59 Total 57 6.91 0.76 5.08 7.59 SCC Rural dairy system 31 5.45 0.45 4.16 5.99 Urban dairy system 31 5.32 1.08 0.00 5.97 Total 62 5.39 0.82 0.00 5.99 Water adulteration Rural dairy system 37 1.58 – 0.00 8.84 Urban dairy system 44 3.26 – 0.00 15.80 Total 81 2.49 – 0.00 15.80 Standard, 2009). The SSC value is higher than the US standard its use to preserve milk until delivery to the processing plants, which (<200,000 cells/ml or 5.30 log cells/ml) (Ruegg, 2003), but it is were 3 h away from the collection sites (Ashenafi, 2002). in the range of the EU standard (<400,000 somatic cells/ml or 5.60 log cells/ml) (More, 2009). Different values have been previously Challenges of household dairy management and reported for microbial counts in milk in Ethiopia, including values production practices of 7.58 log cfu/ml for TBC and 4.49 log cfu/ml for CC reported 10 10 by Asaminew and Eyassu (2011) and a CC of 8.58 log cfu/ml for The major challenges according to dairy farmers’ responses were CC (Gemechu, 2016). The overall TBC and CC of raw milk were shortage of feed concentrate and water, improved breeding, milk 7.32 log cfu/ml and 4.84 log cfu/ml, respectively, according to marketing, health of dairy stock, and manure disposal (Figure  1). 10 10 Derese (2008). Herd health problems were significantly varied across dairy produc- Even though there were individual household variations on tion systems (P < 0.05). These included inaccessibility of veterinary managing milk safety issues in the study area, the secondary level services (10%), death (9%), disease occurrence (6%), and expensive education and dairy experiences of household heads might have con- private veterinary services (5.5%). Eighty-six per cent of dairy pro- tributed to moderate microbial counts, including hand and udder ducers respected the withdrawal period after medical treatment of washing before milking, towel (40% of the farms) or other cloth their dairy cows. Twenty-five per cent of dairy producers (mainly (30%) used to wipe/dry udder, individual use of wiping material urban) reported that they have a manure disposal problem, which (65%), frequency of cleaning milk utensils (72% thrice and 17% differed significantly across dairy production systems (P < 0.001). In four times) and using hot water (43%) in addition to detergent, fre- this regard, manure disposal practices in the current study included quency of barn cleaning (47% twice and 36% thrice daily), floor storage in the rainy season and sun-drying to make dung cake for type (73% concrete), keeping withdrawal period (86%), and water fuel in the dry season (69.5%), biogas digester (22%), and transpor- source (87% tap and 13% well hand pump). tation to another area (8.5%). It was also observed that some urban Lack of support in mastitis control/prevention and use of alumin- dairy farms rented truck to take liquid manure from their farm stor- ium cans or stainless steel milk containers, tap water and electrical age every 3 or 4 months. outages, and manure management affected the efforts of the produc- Lumpy skin disease, mastitis, lameness, and milk fever affected ers to better improve milk quality, comply with hygienic dairy man- dairy cows, which are diseases associated with intensification. Most agement practices, and continue market participation. Therefore, dairy producers respected drug withdrawal periods, which would the milk quality issues need to be managed through understanding partially respond to concerns regarding antibiotic residues. However, the needs of smallholder dairy producers. In this regard, dairy inter- haphazard use of antibiotics to treat livestock in intensive produc- vention and extension services need to introduce inputs including tion systems also calls for effective veterinary services. information on appropriate milk utensils, and knowledge transfer The government veterinary service faced a budget shortfall and regarding dairy management and safe milk production. Milk collec- lack of resources (no veterinary laboratory facilities). The efforts of tion points should be accessible and strategically located, sheltered private veterinarians to engage in retailing of drugs and on call home and with cooling capacity, and also milk should be transported using treatment for stall-fed cows were good, but it should be comple- refrigerated vehicles to the processing plant. mented with laboratory-based diagnostic and advisory services to Some small-scale technologies have been recommended to pre- prevent or control diseases. serve milk. There are innovative cooling methods such as solar ice- There were similar reports of veterinary problems in Ethiopia cooling facilities that can help farmers preserve milk immediately and elsewhere. In Ethiopia, veterinary service delivery is deemed after milking and allow them to market good quality milk (Makoni inadequate (Moti et  al., 2013). Kitaw et  al. (2012) also reported et al., 2013). Bovine milk has a naturally occurring inhibitory system that veterinary service is the least commercialized among inputs called the lactoperoxidase system. As the system is more effective at of dairying with provisions limited to drug vending. On the other 30°C than at 4°C, it is useful to preserve raw milk in case refriger- hand, services from private veterinarians are expensive and with ation is not available (Jay, 1996). Taye et al. (1999) assessed the pre- limited outreach. Distant location or unavailability of adequate vet- servative effect of lactoperoxidase system for preservation of milk erinary services and high cost of medicines were problems in rural for 3  h longer than the untreated control, and they recommended Bangladesh (Shamsuddin et  al., 2007; Quddus, 2012; Hamid and Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 140 H. Lemma D. et al., 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 Feed & water 71% breeding 36% milk markeng 32% Animal health 31% Manure disposal 25% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Figure 1. Frequencies of dairy producers–faced challenges. Hossain, 2014) and in India (Mohi and Bhatti, 2006). In Bangladesh, For instance, public- and private-sector stakeholders identified in there was also experience of community-based veterinary service Ethiopia include as follows: the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Industry delivery, and substantial improvement has been made in prevention, Institute; Ministries of Livestock and Fisheries, Urban works/Urban control and treatment of diseases, calf health, and udder health man- agriculture; veterinary services (government and private); veter- agement (Shamsuddin, 2011). inary drug providers, Feed and Animal Products Quality Control Concerning manure handling, it is better to expand the availabil- Authority; Food, Medicine, and Health Care Administration ity of biogas digesters in order to address the wood fuel shortage, Authority; dairy producers; dairy cooperatives and private milk pro- and the residue can also be used as a fertilizer for crops. Other means cessors; feed suppliers; and academic/research institutions. such as charcoal making and disposal to rural areas for compost There are dairy boards in different countries, e.g. KDB, Irish making aimed at maintaining soil fertility can also be introduced Dairy Board, and Dutch Dairy Board. However, the establishment as part of the sustainable solutions in using this valuable resource. of a dairy board in Ethiopia is problematic as there are overlapping The above-mentioned good manure practices are also supported mandates of the Ethiopian Meat and Dairy Institute in coordinat- by the work of different authors. Manure is among the most import- ing interventions to improve milk safety. Thus, this institute is rec- ant contributions of intensified livestock rearing and has a role in ommended to be the most fitting public body to organize all dairy sustainability (Ehui, 2000). Adoption of improved manure handling industry stakeholders. The regulatory issue can be dealt with by the techniques is crucial in stall-fed cattle (Paul et al., 2009). Biogas tech- Veterinary and Feed Administration and Control Authority and nology is an environmentally friendly method of manure manage- Food, Medicine, Health Care Administration Authority. ment and energy generation to reduce methane and odour emission Livestock or dairy science professionals and veterinarians are (FAO, 2013; Siegmeier et al., 2015). integral to alleviate these problems, including designing a dairy inter- All of the studied dairy producers kept their stock in separate vention project, advising development agencies, informing policy, housing in the rural and (peri-) urban dairy production systems. and other mechanisms that can support the smallholder dairy pro- However, cattle shelter design or barn construction need to be sci- ducers to ensure safe milk production. entifically and appropriately designed to suit the smallholder dairy A private company in Ethiopia, Hiruth milk production and situation, which would make the barn clean, dry, and comfortable. processing enterprise, showed how a milk processor’s effort can In general, prevention of microbial contamination of milk requires help alleviate some of the problems associated with improving milk a combination of measures such as maintaining animals in a healthy quality. The company made available resources such as feed to its condition, cleaning udders and rear quarters of the cow, cleaning milk suppliers on a credit basis, educated them, and paid a quality- milk contact surfaces and equipment, sanitary milk production prac- based price premium (based on bacterial count and fat) (Steen and tices by milk handling personnel, and avoiding excessive airborne Maijersb, 2014). This incentive could motivate milk producers to contamination (Ashenafi, 2002). focus on quality and buy better quality feed, reduce adulteration, and provide better storage conditions for the milk. Similarly, other dairy stakeholders in the milk chain need to contribute to bring about Potential stakeholders and suggestions for sustainable results. In fact, the stakeholders would require adequate implementation of milk quality management knowledge and capacity to apply preventive practices and control program in Ethiopia measures to overcome milk quality and safety problems and share Food safety regulations and implementation of mitigation strate- relevant information with others in the chain. They need to work in gies are duties shared by dairy stakeholders. Guaranteeing the food a carefully planned and integrated manner to create an organized safety systems will need organized actions across policy, regulatory, quality and safety control system consisting of appropriate preven- surveillance, and control measures to reduce the risk of foodborne tion and control measures. illness. Every government needs to consider these issues and invest Before enforcement of milk quality standards, there is a need to in the appropriate steps from production to consumption. Adoption provide land tenure security, input, and support services including of better practices for food safety and bringing about change should improved dairy management techniques for (peri-) urban small- take into account not only scientific knowledge as to how a safe holder dairy farmers who supply milk to processors. Furthermore, product can be manufactured but also socio-economic factors. the ultimate quality control will take time to be fully operational, Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article-abstract/2/3/135/5074050 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 28 August 2018 Improvements in milk safety, 2018, Vol. 2, No. 3 141 because of the complexity of the animal production and food chains. 7. Multi-disciplinary research (veterinary and public health) to Thus, a pilot scheme should be implemented to test the adoption by deal with milk quality challenges, to further test and strengthen stakeholders of the appropriate quality control measures. the prevention and control programs protecting the safety of milk, and to define the responsibilities of public, private, and cooperative organizations. Conclusions 8. Properly equipped and qualified laboratories, adequately trained personnel, and analytical methods that are fast, affordable, and This paper analysed best practices, challenges, and opportunities reliable are among the key factors essential for attaining food to improve raw milk quality/safety for stall-fed, zero-grazed dairy quality and safety. production on smallholdings. The CC found in the case study was 9. The efforts of private veterinarians to engage in provision of in the range of the Ethiopian standard. The value of TBC found drugs and offer mobile or on call home treatment for confined was slightly higher than the standard of bacteriological quality of cows should be complemented with laboratory-based diagnosis milk. SCC was higher than the US standard but was within the before prescribing antibiotics. range of the EU standard. Moreover, there were other associated 10. Increasing awareness of consumers on handling of dairy challenges facing dairy farmers, including shortage of feed concen- foods and their nutritional value through agricultural, dairy, trate and water, milk marketing, health of dairy stock, and manure and human health extension services are needed as all have disposal. roles to play. As we move forward to meet increasing food demands through intensive farming, food safety will continue to be a high priority, Conflicts of interest statement. None declared. particularly for smallholder dairy producers. 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Journal

Food Quality and SafetyOxford University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2018

References