Milk gets from our cows to your local retailer in just two days. During that journey, milk undergoes multiple steps to make sure it arrives to consumers safe, fresh, high-quality and wholesome.

On the Farm

High-quality milk starts on the farm with healthy cows, including a nutritious diet, fresh water, shelter, close monitoring and veterinary care.

Cows are milked two to three times a day under strict sanitation protocols for workers, cows and machinery. Human hands never touch milk as it travels to your table.

Milk is pumped directly from the cows into tanks and quickly cooled to just above freezing within two hours of milking to reduce the possibility of bacterial growth.

While in the tanks, milk is tested for safety and quality, including traces of antibiotics. When a cow has been treated for antibiotics to treat illness, her milk is discarded and does not enter the food supply.

Insulated tankers to keep milk cold, and sealed to prevent tampering or contamination, pick up milk at least once a day at dairy farms and drive it to processing plants – sometimes hundreds of miles away.

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At the Processing Plant

Milk is:

  • Tested for temperature and (again) for safety and quality, including antibiotics. If antibiotics are found, the entire tanker of milk is thrown out and the dairy farmer is financially liable.
  • Put through a separator that separates milk into cream and skimmed milk.
  • Enriched with Vitamins A and D to enhance milk’s nutritional profile.
  • Homogenized, to decrease the size of fat globules and mix the fat more evenly in the milk, without effecting its nutritional value.
  • Pasteurized, or heated at least 161 degrees for 15 seconds and rapidly cooled, to kill harmful bacteria, including E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella, without impacting milk’s taste or nutritional value.
  • Packaged for store shelves or turned into cheese, yogurt, butter, ice cream or other dairy products.
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At Store and Home

Within 48 hours after the cow is milked, packed milk arrives at your local retailer, ready for you to take home and enjoy.

To keep milk safe while shopping, pick it up last and get it home and into the refrigerator as soon as possible.

Follow safe milk-handling practices, including proper refrigeration.



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