Quote: Originally Posted by karrie
I think the farmers NOW are trained in those same safe food handling methods, and still there are problems. Train and train and train all you want... someone will get lazy. Someone will sneeze. Someone will miss a crack in a hose
that needed sterilizing. Someone will drop a connection when hooking up to a tank and get manure off the ground into the supply hose. Train away countryboy... but unfortunately, you're dealing with humans.
Yeah, I know...I've dealt with them for years!
Training isn't just a matter of showing someone how to do something. Good training involves imparting a clear understanding of what is important, and why. Each of those problems you've mentioned can be handled through a simple set of procedures, but they have to be part of a "system", and that system has to managed effectively. Not "over-managed", must managed to the degree that it works right. The basic elements of the system don't have to be all that difficult.
You're still looking at it from a "why can't
it be done" standpoint, but I'm still looking at from the other side of the coin...why it can
be done. That's OK though, because you're raising issues that have to be addressed...all these things need to be surfaced or else there wouldn't be any basis for a "system."
I'm thinking more of what's generally called a "quality system", which involves taking apart all the steps involved, reviewing the procedures necessary to meet the quality standards (clean, safe milk), (one of the steps might be that handling or making hose connections in an unclean area is verboten), and putting it all back together again with training and follow-up requirements, certifications, and certainly a regular audit process to make sure the system is being followed to a "T."
This kind of thing is done all the time in non-food situations, so there is no reason why it couldn't be done in a food situation. It could very well be in place already elsewhere in the world, as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the worldwide overseer for much of this stuff.
So, it's not really a matter of reinventing the wheel. None of this currently applies to producers/sellers of raw milk because it's still illegal in Canada.
In my opinion, what I'm talking about would be a very worthwhile exercise to go through in order to get to the health benefits offered by good, clean, raw milk.
We already have some examples of this happening, even thought it's not "official"...there is a producer of cheese in Salmon Arm, BC that has their own herd of grass-fed dairy cows. Good first step - the animals are fed what they're designed to eat, thus eliminating the need for medicines required when they're not fed right (grains and other crap designed to make them produce more milk faster). Then, the production facility is squeaky-clean and managed like a...(well, I was going to say a hospital but they kill too many people with infections these days, so that's a bad comparison)...like a model of cleanliness and care.
They make some of their cheeses with unpasteurized raw milk (the stuff that is aged long enough for the good bacteria to eat the bad bacteria, simply put - they have proven to the Health Dept. that it is safe) and it is scrumptious. It's way beyond Kraft cheese (factory cheese) in nutrition and overall goodness, not to mention flavour. Sure, it costs a bit more but you feel "full" when you eat very small amounts of it, because it's real, whole, and wholesome...satisfying
, you could say.
The staff are a lucky bunch...they get to drink raw milk on their "coffee breaks" and they look pretty healthy and happy to me. Mind you, this was all set up by Dutch people who are light years ahead of North America on this stuff. Or, maybe they're "behind us" in the sense that this is how it has been done for centuries in parts of Europe.
Whenever you have a small, independently run operation where the owner/manager is right there on site, your chances of "mistakes" are lessened, as compared to large, high-production facilities that have "margins for error" built into their production "scorecards." One of the reasons is "ownership" of the results...it's rare that a big factory with many (unionized) employees will take the same pride in producing something that would be done by an independent "craftsman." Think General Motors vs. Ferrari, for example. Or, a local bakery vs. a large bakery/factory operation. Or even a small, local farmer that takes pride in his/her operation vs. a big, giant, high-production dairy operation. Remember, Maple Leaf had all kinds of fancy equipment and safety inspections but that Listeria was there. More than once!