Fact Sheet: Automatic Milking Systems

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Source: proAction

This fact sheet lists each Workbook question from the Food Safety program that has a different application for Automatic Milking Systems (AMSs) and then describes the requirements. The Workbook questions not listed apply to AMSs as written, and do not need any modification.

Please note that all data required by the Food Safety program must be easily accessible for validations.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • SOP for treating animals (Record 5): Livestock medicine treatments must be entered into the computer before treating the animal. (Q 29 & 39)
  • SOP to minimize the risk of shipping milk from treated cows and/or abnormal milk (Record 3): Ensure SOP is very clear so staff can find the information that they need. Must also demonstrate how the AMS unit checks for abnormal milk. (Q 3 and 38)
  • Pre-milking and milking SOPs (Records 1 & 2) turn into an AMS Maintenance SOP (new Record). (Q 35 and 36 turn into Q50)
  • SOP for Cleaning and Maintaining an AMS (Q50) requirements:
    • If the electronic milk-monitoring device (e.g. TTR or AMS) has alarms, check to ensure there was no cleaning or milk temperature alarms in either the main and buffer tank or attention lists or exception reports.
    • If the electronic milk-monitoring device does not have alarms, check the milk temperature history a minimum of twice a day, with at least 8 hours between each check, and record the milk temperature.
    • Check and record the temperature of hot water or wash water (monthly) on each AMS or washing system (Record 13).
    • Check and record the cleanliness of milking equipment regularly for each AMS or washing system (Record 13).
    • Post a milk pick-up/cleaning procedure for the milk truck drivers. The instructions should include how to switch diversion from the main tank to the buffer tank, how to start the wash for the main tank and how to start the cooler for the buffer tank.

Equipment Sanitation and Monitoring of Water/Milk Temperatures

  • Bulk milk temperature recorded and checked after every milking for each bulk tank (Q 43 & 44):
    • Constant electronic milk temperature monitoring is mandatory to record any milk that is being cooled (bulk tank and buffer tank, if the milk is held in the buffer tank for more than 2 hours).
    • If the TTR or AMS does not have alarms, the TTR or AMS data (i.e. the milk temperature data since the last check) must be checked 2X a day, with at least 8 hours between each check. The farmer must demonstrate how he/she manually acknowledges the entire 8 or more hours of data. E.g. the farmer could print the log and sign it or log the temperature at the time of each check.
    • If the TTR or AMS has alarms, all alarms must be addressed and recorded. The alarms must meet the Food Safety program standards, if farmers do not want to record temperatures manually.
  • Cleanliness of milking equipment must be inspected and recorded (Record 13) for each AMS or washing system. (Q47)
  • Annual wash system evaluation (Record 14b) must be completed on each AMS or washing system. (Q51)
  • Hot water or wash water temperature must be checked at least monthly. (Q48)
    • TTR or electronic monitoring is recommended and must follow the Food Safety program standards, if farmers do not want to record temperatures manually.
    • If no TTR is used, the farmer must demonstrate how he/she takes the hot or wash water temperatures and provide past recorded temperatures.
  • AMS unit must have fail-safe system to avoid accidental entry of antimicrobial milk and wash water into the tank. (Q55)

Staff Training

  • Staff training is even more important for people working on a farm with an AMS. All those working with the AMS must understand how to keep the system working effectively and how to ensure the milk is kept as clean and safe as possible. (Q64)

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