Safe Storage Guidelines for Commercial Dairy Plants

Posted on March 24, 2021 by Paige Pesko

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Of all the perishable food in your refrigerator, milk tends to be the item we are the most cautious about. It is the most susceptible to going bad if kept for too long or stored at the wrong temperature. If this is true for consumers, how much truer is it for the manufacturing plants that put milk products in their hands? That is why knowing the safe storage guidelines for commercial dairy plants is crucial to keep consumers safe.

Temperature Considerations

Milk goes bad if it is kept at temperatures above 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of this, laws require that milk should be kept at or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 7 degrees Celsius) both before and after pasteurization. To ensure this, most states have regulations in place indicating that thermometers must be attached to tanks. Facilities should record the temperature on this daily and recalibrate the thermometer once every three months.

Length of Storage Time

Dairy milk already has a short shelf life. For every hour they’re in your plant, that is one less hour they’re able to stay in your customers’ refrigerators. To maximize the shelf life for consumers, dairy plants need to keep milk in their storage vessels for as little time as possible. Most states have a time limit placed on how long milk can remain in tanks before it’s shipped out. Here in Texas, that time limit is 48 hours.

Tank Hygiene

Federal regulations also specify that storage vessels for milk tanks should be designed to keep contaminants out. However, contaminants can enter milk from the inside if the tanks are not sanitized. Facilities should thoroughly clean and sanitize the inside of tanks between every batch of milk and keep record of it. This way, if milk goes bad, there is a paper trail to track the source of the contamination.

Tank Material

As with all food processing containers, safe storage guidelines for commercial dairy plants emphasize using containers that are durable, non-absorbent, nonreactive, and corrosion-resistant. This ensures that facilities meet cross-contamination and hygiene standards. Here at Cedarstone Industry, we believe that stainless steel storage tanks are the most ideal option for storing dairy products in order to keep your facility and your customers safe.

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