Milk Quality issue – Trichloromethane (TCM) residue – How to avoid the problem on your farm in 2015

Dr. David Gleeson
Milk Quality Research Officer, Teagasc Moorepark 
What is Trichloromethane (TCM) residue and why is it important?
Cleaning and disinfection in the milk production process on your farm is critically important to the quality of the milk you send to your milk supplier. Chemical solvents containing chlorine are among the most effective and economical for cleaning and disinfecting your milking facilities, but there is an unintentional side effect: when chlorine comes in contact with milk, TCM is formed resulting in residues, particularly in high fat products e.g. butter. There are both legal limits and recommended target levels for TCM in specific dairy products (target level required in milk max 0.0015 mg/Kg).
Choosing a detergent-sterilizer product
Choose a detergent-sterilizer product with a caustic concentration greater than 10% and a chlorine concentration less than 3.5% if hot water is not used at each milking and the product is to be recycled on one occasion-see Teagasc list of registered detergent-steriliser products on the Irish market:
http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/moorepark/articles/Chemicalanalysisofdetergentsterilizerproducts.pdf 
 
Choose products that are adequately labelled with:
(a) Name of manufacturer
(b) PCS (pesticide control service) number 
(c) Identity and content of active substances (caustic and chlorine)
(d) Directions for use (usage rate)
(e) Optimum temperature of usage
(f) Equipment for which the product is suitable
(g) Health and safety information
(h) Expiry date and batch number.
Correct use of products
Use detergent levels as specified by the manufacturer - use measurement equipment (jug) and check usage rates of automatic washers (machine and bulk tank)
 
Detergent-sterilizer products (containing chlorine) should be rinsed from the milking system with clean water immediately after the main wash cycle 
Sterilizer products (chlorine only) may be used once weekly in conjunction with caustic detergent (powder/liquid products) – as recommended by the manufacturer- should not be used for the main machine or tank wash
Summary Checklist to prevent TCM Residues
DO
Choose registered cleaning products
Choose a product with chlorine content less than 3.5%
Mix the cleaning solution as instructed by manufacturer
Follow a machine cleaning routine
Rinse detergent/steriliser solutions from plant immediately after circulation
Use adequate rinse water for removing milk and detergent residues– 14L/unit 
Check that the level of bulk tank rinse water is adequate for the tank size
DO NOT
Add chlorine to a final rinse of the milking plant or bulk milk tank 
Re-use rinse water (if used to remove detergent then discard)
Re-use the cleaning solution more than once
Add additional chlorine to detergent/sterilizer solution
Dip clusters in chlorine 
Signs of inadequate rinsing of milking equipment
Smell of chlorine from bulk tank after cleaning
pH of rinse water (in the plant after completion of cleaning) greater than 8.5
Milk residues in detergent cleaning solution
Key point: To avoid residues choose registered products, use according to instructions and  Rinse-Rinse-Rinse
Information on detergents, teat disinfectants, milk quality handbook, and on-farm video clips can be viewed at this web-link                                                                   http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/moorepark/milkquality/

Dr. David Gleeson

Milk Quality Research Officer, Teagasc Moorepark 
What is Trichloromethane (TCM) residue and why is it important?

Cleaning and disinfection in the milk production process on your farm is critically important to the quality of the milk you send to your milk supplier. Chemical solvents containing chlorine are among the most effective and economical for cleaning and disinfecting your milking facilities, but there is an unintentional side effect: when chlorine comes in contact with milk, TCM is formed resulting in residues, particularly in high fat products e.g. butter. There are both legal limits and recommended target levels for TCM in specific dairy products (target level required in milk max 0.0015 mg/Kg).
Choosing a detergent-sterilizer product.

Choose a detergent-sterilizer product with a caustic concentration greater than 10% and a chlorine concentration less than 3.5% if hot water is not used at each milking and the product is to be recycled on one occasion-see Teagasc list of registered detergent-steriliser products on the Irish market:

http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/moorepark/articles/Chemicalanalysisofdetergentsterilizerproducts.pdf 
 
Choose products that are adequately labelled with:

(a) Name of manufacturer

(b) PCS (pesticide control service) number

(c) Identity and content of active substances (caustic and chlorine)

(d) Directions for use (usage rate)

(e) Optimum temperature of usage

(f) Equipment for which the product is suitable

(g) Health and safety information

(h) Expiry date and batch number.
Correct use of products

Use detergent levels as specified by the manufacturer - use measurement equipment (jug) and check usage rates of automatic washers (machine and bulk tank)
 
Detergent-sterilizer products (containing chlorine) should be rinsed from the milking system with clean water immediately after the main wash cycle 

Sterilizer products (chlorine only) may be used once weekly in conjunction with caustic detergent (powder/liquid products) – as recommended by the manufacturer- should not be used for the main machine or tank wash
Summary Checklist to prevent TCM Residues
 

DO

 Choose registered cleaning products

 Choose a product with chlorine content less than 3.5%

 Mix the cleaning solution as instructed by manufacturer

 Follow a machine cleaning routine

 Rinse detergent/steriliser solutions from plant immediately after circulation

 Use adequate rinse water for removing milk and detergent residues– 14L/unit 

 Check that the level of bulk tank rinse water is adequate for the tank size

DO NOT

 Add chlorine to a final rinse of the milking plant or bulk milk tank 

 Re-use rinse water (if used to remove detergent then discard)

 Re-use the cleaning solution more than once

 Add additional chlorine to detergent/sterilizer solution

 Dip clusters in chlorine 
Signs of inadequate rinsing of milking equipment

Smell of chlorine from bulk tank after cleaning• pH of rinse water (in the plant after completion of cleaning) greater than 8.5

Milk residues in detergent cleaning solution

Key point: To avoid residues choose registered products, use according to instructions and  Rinse-Rinse-Rinse


Information on detergents, teat disinfectants, milk quality handbook, and on-farm video clips can be viewed at this web-link                                                                   http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/moorepark/milkquality/

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