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Ask students at your school what their perception of school milk is.
- Are the students at your school saying the milk is "nasty"?
- Do students say school milk tastes different from milk at home?
- Do students think the milk is warm because of how it is served?
Who's Responsible for Milk Quality?
Quality milk starts at the dairy farm. Dairymen provide quality care for their cows and ensure sanitary milking procedures are practiced according to state and federal regulations and are routinely inspected.
Milk is lab tested and pasteurized for safety, then cooled and packaged adhering to strict federal, state and local laws. PMO (Pasteurized Milk Ordinance), HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) are among these standards.
The Storage Facility
The processor or distributor ensures appropriate holding temperatures and sanitation measures are followed to maintain product quality while in their care.
Maintains milk temperatures between 33° – 40° F during transport and limits milk's exposure to external elements.
The School's Foodservice
Maintains milk's safety and quality through product consumption.
Ten Tips to Serving Totally Cool Milk
| ||Check to be sure the temperature of the milk is always cold—keeping milk at its best quality and flavor. Strive for 35°F at all points of service. |
| ||Milk should be delivered directly into refrigerated storage. Constant refrigeration from delivery through meal service is the secret to fresh-tasting milk. Check and record the temperature of milk when it is delivered, where it is stored and at the end of each meal service. |
| ||Milk tastes best when it is served between 35°F and 40°F. Monitor milk temperatures daily and strive for 35°F at every point of service. |
| ||Temperatures above 40°F compromises the quality of the milk being served to students. The shelf life of milk is shortened by a full 50% for every 5-degree increase in temperature over 40°F. |
| ||Never serve milk from an unrefrigerated crate. Milk carton temperatures warm to room temperature and the milk quality is compromised in as few as 10 minutes. Serve milk to students directly from a refrigerated, cold cell or thermal unit. |
| ||Allowing milk to warm even a few degrees at meal service diminishes the quality and changes the flavor of the product—even if it is re-chilled. Discard any unopened milk containers returned by students. |
| ||Monitor milk equipment thermostats and be sure the equipment at your school is in the best possible working condition. Keep coils, air filters and vents clean. Be sure doors close tightly and gaskets and latches are in top condition. |
| ||Monitor milk temperatures at the beginning and end of meal service every day. Serve milk between 35°F and 40°F during all meal service periods. |
| ||Close drop-front or reach-in cooler doors between meal serving periods. Do not overload coolers. All milk should be below chill line for best temperature and quality. |
| ||Keep milk cold and clean in the walk-in cooler. Be sure cartons are clean and cooler temperature is 35°F. Rotate deliveries and always serve cartons on a first-in-first-out system. |
Contact the Wisconsin Dairy Council and ask about milk thermometers, cold cell and thermal equipment available for your schools. For information call 1-800-383-9662.