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The Contamination of Milk

Nature volume 81, pages 7475 (15 July 1909) | Download Citation



THE contamination of milk has been the subject of a detailed research by Dr. Orr, carried out on behalf of the councils of the county boroughs of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield, and the administrative counties of the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire. Of previous investigations, Delépine concluded that though his results did not exclude the possibility of infection at the home of the consumer, or during transit from the farm, they did indicate that infection at the farm, or through vessels infected at the farm and used by the farmer for the storage and carriage of milk, was of paramount importance. On the other hand, Newsholme attaches little importance to infection at the cowshed. Dr. Orr's investigation was carried out in a systematic manner, and not only were the bacteriological examinations carefully performed, but, in addition, the condition of the cows and cowsheds and the effects of season and atmospheric temperature were noted. First, the bacterial content of the milk in the udder was estimated, and it was found that the fore-milk (that first milked) contained from 18,000 to 48,000 microorganisms per cubic centimetre, and the milk after the removal of the fore-milk 890 to 4800 per cubic centimetre.

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