Medycyna Wet. 63 (12), 1572-1575, 2007
Pełczyńska E., Paszkiewicz W.
Hygienic quality of raw milk from the region of Eastern Poland in the so called transition period
Upon Poland’s entering the EU in 2004, dairy factories were modernized and adapted to EU standards. Only raw milk with a content not exceeding 100 thousand bacteria and up to 400 thousand somatic cells per 1 cm3 could be used for the production of drinking milk. In some regions of Poland milk did not meet these standards which made it impossible for dairy producers to maintain continuous production. In these conditions some of the regions gained a transition period, until the end of 2006, during which they had the right to “segregate milk”, that is to collect milk that meets EU standards, as well as milk that does not meet them, i.e. with a higher bacteria count (up to 400 thousand) and somatic cell count (up to 500 thousand per 1 cm3). The aim of the investigation was evaluating the quality of the raw milk collected by dairies from the producers that were in the adaptation period for EU standards representing two different regions in the eastern part of Poland. The investigations were conducted on raw milk collected from individual farms for two dairy factories (A and B) from different regions of the eastern part of the country. The producers were small farms that maintained an average of 3-4 cows. After it was transported to the dairy, the milk temperature was evaluated according to Polish standards, along with its density, acidity, freezing point, total bacteria count, somatic cell count per 1 cm3, as well as the presence of retarding substances. It was stated that in comparison with milk collected by dairy A, milk from dairy B was characterized by higher acidity, a higher bacterial and somatic cell count per 1 cm3 contamination as well as presence of retarding substances. Milk from both dairies did not meet the lower transitional standards and hygienic standards and was unfit for consumption. The results are give in table 1. They indicate the difficulty small farms have in adapting to the necessary hygienic standards. Poland is among the countries with a strongly fragmented milk production, which results in lesser technological advances in small farms than in the large ones. The implementation of sanitary-veterinary standards connected with the conditions of maintaining the cows’ health and handling of the milk after milking is also less advanced. What is crucial in this matter are economic factors as well as ingrained habits of a low hygienic regime in milking and milk storage. However, in the general evaluation of the hygienic quality of Polish milk it is possible to express a measure of satisfaction that a good deal of the measures taken regarding the problem since 2004 have already produced good results.
Keywords: milk, hygienic quality, adaptation period to EU standards, eastern Poland