Days Tested: 
Turnaround Time: 
2-3 business days
Specimen Requirements: 

6 ml milk

Shipping Container: 

sterile tube

frozen gel packs

Freeze samples immediately after collection. Samples must remain cold, preferably frozen. See Submission Guidelines for more information on how to collect a bulk tank milk sample.

“Isolating large numbers of environmental streptococci and coliforms from BTM indicates poor hygiene either during equipment cleaning and sanitation, during milking, or between milkings. These two microbial groups share common sources of contamination such as bedding, soil, manure, and water. Milking wet udders, organic soil buildup in milklines, cracked gaskets and inflations, inadequately heated wash water, inadequate cooling of milk, and IMI can all contribute to high environmental streptococcal and coliform counts in BTM. Lowering BTM counts of these bacteria usually involves evaluation of environmental situations. Environmental factors contributing to BTM counts also harbor the potential for increased IMI rates. This association was evident by the positive correlations among environmental streptococcal and coliform rates of clinical mastitis, bacterial counts in bedding, and BTM counts in a study involving nine well-managed dairy herds. Realistic goals for BTM counts of environmental streptococci and coliforms are <1,000 CFU/ml and < 500 CFU/ml, respectively.”

- From Using Bulk Tank Milk Cultures in a Dairy Practice


This test quantifies Coliforms and Environmental Strep species in bulk tank milk. Counts of these types of bacteria are typically used to evaluate milking hygiene (see Comments below).