ON THE FARM: Milk Pasteurization Process

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ST. JOHNS, Mich. (WLNS)—Pasteurization is the process in which certain food items are treated with mild heat to get rid of toxins, harmful bacteria, and helps extend shelf-life on certain items.

“The standard is milk is heated to 160 degrees for 15 seconds, and that doesn’t kill all the bacteria because there is good bacteria too,” said Carla Wardin, co-owner of Evergreen Dairy in St. Johns, Michigan.

Pasteurization is one of the oldest on food safety, and it kills of potential harmful bacteria like listeria that infects people and animals through contaminated food. The first step in the milk pasteurization process is sending it to a milk processing plant.

“That’s also where the milk is separated into skim, 2 percent, and whole, Wardin stated.
“All of it happens at the milk processing plant.”

Pasteurization is recommended, and they want to bring the safest milk out to the public. Plus, the quality of milk becomes better when it goes through the process.

“The milk is good for you, has nine essential vitamins and minerals, it has no antibiotics in it, and farmers are working to make the best quality product,” Wardin suggested.

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