Antibiotics in milk: Rumors and reality

23 July, 2019 г.
I guess each of us has ever heard of the fact that together with a glass of many favorite milk we get a dose of antibiotics. To what extent this statement is true, the specialists of the Public Oversight Service examined the milk presented on the shelves of Russian stores in the summer of 2013.
The results of the laboratory tests show that the customers' fears are not in vain. Indeed, two of the eleven tested samples revealed antibiotic content.
How do antibiotics get into milk?
The source of antibiotics is milk from sick animals. One of the serious problems of modern animal husbandry is the disease of dairy cows with mastitis. This most common disease, as well as some others, is treated with antibiotics, which causes the detection of these drugs in cow's milk.
According to the regulations, there is a three-level system of raw milk quality control, designed to prevent the milk of sick animals from getting on the consumer's table. Raw milk should be subject to industrial laboratory control, laboratory safety monitoring in veterinary institutions and quality control when it is accepted into dairy plants. Ideally, this system should ensure that there is no unsafe milk in the total milk yield, but in practice it can fail.
What are the dangers of antibiotics in milk?
Of course, when it comes to the presence of antibiotics in the milk purchased in the store, we are talking about microscopic doses of these substances. But, according to experts, because of the specific features of these drugs, even they can cause harm to human health.
According to Larisa Lavut, associate professor at the Mechnikov Moscow State Medical University, tetracycline antibiotics have a cumulative effect. By accumulating in the body, they can have a negative impact on the ears. The presence of these substances is especially dangerous for those who drink large amounts of milk - two or three liters a day.
Leonid Churilov, Head of the Department of Pathology at the Medical Faculty of St. Petersburg State University, c.m.s., warns that even minimal doses of antibacterial drugs have a negative impact on the body's microflora and increase the risk of spread of resistance of pathogens to drugs.
Results of examination of cow pasteurized milk
Eleven samples of products were purchased from various outlets in St. Petersburg. They were tested not only for antibiotics (levomycitin, penicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline and its forms), but also for compliance with organoleptic properties and the actual composition of the label.
According to the results of the inspection, six out of eleven samples were found to be in full compliance with the regulatory documents, two samples were found to be antibacterial, three samples were rejected in terms of taste, smell and consistency, and three samples had an underestimated fat content.
The smell of milk may be due to prolonged storage on farms, improper maintenance of milking equipment. PionerProudukt / Production - Test for Antibiotics in Milk / Тест на антибиотики в молоке
Bitter taste is caused by the long storage of the product at low temperatures, stern - due to the presence of highly smelling plants in the feed, acidic - due to violations of sanitary and temperature conditions for the collection, storage or transportation of milk.
Slightly underestimated fat content does not give a reason to recognize the product as low-quality, but violates the right of the consumer to receive reliable and complete information.
  1. "Piskarevskoye" 2.5%, manufacturer of LLC "Saint-Petersburg MZ "Piskarevskiy", St. Petersburg, 900g, 31-90g
  2. "Moloko Vologodchiny 3.2%, manufacturer of OJSC Cherepovets Dairy Plant, Cherepovets, 1000 g, 34-90r
  3. "Full Krynka 2.5%, manufacturer LLC Krivskoye, Kaluga Region, 900g, 27-00p
  4. "Vkusnoteevo" 3.5%, manufacturer of JSC "Voronezh Dairy Plant", Voronezh, 900g, 41-90r
  5. "365 days" 2.5%, manufacturer CJSC "Laktis", Velikiy Novgorod, 900g, 26-90g
  6. TH "Smetanin" 2,5 %, the manufacturer of Open Society "Velikoluk dairy industrial complex", Velikiye Luki, Pskov region, 1000г, 26-70р Pasteurized milk with the revealed deviations from requirements of standard documents and discrepancy of the declared properties on a label PionerProudukt / Production - Test for Antibiotics in Milk / Тест на антибиотики в молоке
  7. "Harmony" 3.5%, manufacturer of "Lakto-Novgorod" LLC, Novgorod region, 900 g, 56-90r - actual fat content 3.2% instead of the declared 3.5%
  8. "Staraya Ladoga" 2.5%, manufacturer LLC "Volkhovsky Plus", Leningrad Region, 910g, 37-90 - a heterogeneous consistency, with particles (Chief technologist of the enterprise I.V. Pavlova, without disputing the comments of the laboratory, reported to the "Public Control" that "heterogeneity of consistency and particles appeared in the process of storage of milk. Milk is not subjected to homogenization and during storage there is an insignificant fat retention, which leads to heterogeneous consistency of milk. In order to eliminate this vice and fat settling in the production process, the issue of purchasing a homogenizer is being solved.)
  9. Milk 2,5 %, the manufacturer of Joint-Stock Company "Luzhsky dairy industrial complex", Leningrad region, 900г, 29-90р - an extraneous taste is revealed
  10. "Prinevskoye" 2.5%, producer of CJSC "Tribal plant "Prinevskoye", Leningrad Region, 1000 g, 40-00r - actual fat content of 2.2% instead of the declared 2.5%; tetracycline was found (the manufacturer immediately reacted to the alarming results of the examination of his milk. Director General Mukhazhir Etuev informed the Public Control that seven batches of milk from different bottling dates were sent to the St. Petersburg City Veterinary Laboratory for examination and provided copies of test reports, according to which the batches of pasteurized milk fully comply with the requirements of regulatory documents. V.V. Lebed, Head of the Animal Husbandry Shop at the Prinevskoye Breeding Factory, CJSC, informed that "measures have been tightened to prevent cows receiving antibiotic treatment from getting milk into the prefabricated milk".)
  11. Milk 3.2%, produced by Golmar Group LLC, Kaluga region, 29-69r - bitter oxidized taste and foreign smell; actual fat content is 3.1% instead of the declared 3.2%; tetracycline was found
The results of the expertise are relevant only to the samples submitted for expertise, and not to all similar products of manufacturers.

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