Since it’s Home Dairy Month here at The Prairie Homestead, we’ve been talking about one of my favorite topics: raw milk.
As I shared last week, I have weighed the risks involved with drinking raw milk, and am very comfortable with my decision. I feel as though the risks of drinking unpasteurized milk are minimal compared to the possible health issues that can arise from consuming pasteurized milk.
That being said, if you plan to have home dairy animals and produce your own milk on your homestead, it’s still important to treat fresh milk with a bit of respect.
I follow a pretty strict set of procedures when I head out to the barn each morning to bring in a bucket of fresh milk. Here is what I do to ensure that our milk is as clean and sweet-tasting as possible.
Six Tips for Safely Handling Raw Milk
1. Clean it- Before sitting down on my stool to milk, I wipe off Miss Oakley’s udder with a hot, wet towel. She likes to lay in the mud, so sometimes it takes a bit of elbow grease to get her teats clean and pink again. Some folks use bleach to wash their cow’s udder, but I can’t stand that stuff, so hot water is good enough for me.
After washing her down, I spray the first 2-3 squirts of milk from each teat onto the ground (Some folks prefer to spray it into a small cup). The reason for this is to flush out any bacteria or dirt that may be in the tip of the teat.
2. Contain it- Next, I grab my stainless steel milk bucket. The type of container you use to store your raw milk is very important. Plastic is a big no-no for me, since it’s very difficult to properly clean, AND it tends to hold onto off-smells and tastes.… [Continue Reading]