When it comes to positive tank loads of milk for antibiotic residues, dairy farmers matched the previous year’s historic accomplishment.

In 2017, only 356 loads out of 3,388,093 tanker loads of milk tested positive for antibiotic residues. Yes, a mere 356 loads out of nearly 3.4 million bulk milk pickup tanker samples were positive for antibiotic residues. That’s 0.011 percent. Data for this report comes from the National Milk Drug Residue Database.

Most consumers would naturally ask a follow-up question, “What happened to those 356 positive tanker loads of milk?”

Every load of milk delivered to dairy processing plants is tested for antibiotics. Any load that tests positive for drug residues is immediately discarded. It never enters the human food chain.

That means every glass of milk, every slice of cheese, and all dairy products for that matter are antibiotic free. It doesn’t matter whether it’s produced on an organic or conventional dairy farm.

To further document that extra effort dairy producers are making these days to deliver a safe supply of milk, annual data from the National Milk Drug Residue Database depicts either declining or stable numbers over the past two decades. Click here to download a graph of the data.

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(c) Hoard's Dairyman Intel 2018
February 19, 2018
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