Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

September 28, 1998

Drink milk? Love Guelph

As you poured milk over your cereal this morning, you probably did not contemplate whether that milk meets standards for safety and quality. To ensure those standards are met, the University of Guelph routinely tests samples from all dairy farmers in Ontario for purity and composition at its Laboratory Services division.
With 7,500 dairy producers in Ontario, Laboratory Services tests more than 450,000 samples each year. The samples, collected from farms, are brought into Guelph by truck, and by plane from Northern Ontario.

The milk samples are checked for the presence of antibiotic residues, bacteria, added water and somatic cells. Tests also identify any potential disease-causing bacteria which may on occasion be present. The milk is examined for its composition of fat, lactose, protein and other solids. Laboratory Services' sophisticated analytical methods and equipment can test about 400 samples an hour.

Tests that find milk samples that lack appropriate composition or that violate purity standards are confirmed by other methods. "We double check everything. We aim to provide premium service," said Jim Pettit, Laboratory Services Director. The standards at Laboratory Services have become a critical measurement tool for the dairy industry, guaranteeing that dairy producers and processors make the grade. The testing is part of a partnership between Laboratory Services and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. The University of Guelph was the first in the world to perform farm milk testing when it developed a Central Milk Testing Laboratory in 1967.

CONTACT: Jim Pettit, Laboratory Services Director, (519) 767-6260

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, University of Guelph, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338 September 28, 1998

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