Turvallisen ja hygieenisen maidon edistys ja kehitys

Bacteria counts in Finnish milk

Bacteria counts (BC) in milk are an indicator of hygienic quality. Good udder health, hygienic milking practices and sufficient cleaning of milking equipment keep BC of fresh milk below 10 000 CFU/ml. BC are evaluated bimonthly from the bulk tank milk of Finnish dairy farms. In 2017, the Finnish Association for Milk Hygiene received BC data from 99% Finnish dairy farms.

Low bacteria counts in Finnish milk

In 2017, the national arithmetic mean for BC in Finnish bulk tank milk was 8800 CFU/ml, and the national geometric mean BC in bulk tank milk was 5200 pmy/ml. These values are among the lowest in the world and indicate that Finnish milk has excellent hygienic quality.

FIGURE 1. Low somatic cell and bacterial counts indicate
that Finnish milk has excellent hygienic quality.


Seasonal fluctuations in BC

BC are slightly higher during the summer months in comparison to other seasons. In 2017, mean somatic cell counts were the highest in July and August, which are often the warmest months of the year.  


 FIGURE 2. Bacteria counts are slightly elevated during the summer.
Values indicate geometric means. 


EU criterion for BC in bulk tank milk

Legislation of the European Union maintains that BC in bulk tank milk should not exceed 100 000 CFU/ml (calculated using a 3-month geometric mean). In 2017, fewer than 0.2% of Finnish dairy farms exceeded the EU criterion at any given time of year.