Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 18: CIP units

CIP (Clean in Place) units are a VERY important part of keeping all of our milking machines, hoses, and pipes clean and sanitary.  This isn't just like doing the dishes, there are lots of crevices and parts that need thoroughly cleaned after each milking, and that can't be done correctly and efficiently by hand, so we use these units to mechanically make sure all milk from the previous milking is cleaned, and that the milking machines are sanitized before the next milking.  (Think of it as an ultra powerful dishwasher.)

To clean the milking machines, they are all attached to the CIP unit.  First, a blast of hot water rinses the units (think of it as pre-rinsing the dishes before going in the dishwasher).  Then, detergent is mixed in, and the machines undergo another round of hot water washing - this time with soapy water.  Then, a final cycle that includes an acid-based sanitizer is run to disinfect.  This pushes water through every crevice that milk can get into, ensuring a clean and safe system to collect milk for you and your family.  To be extra clean, we also run another sanitizing cycle with a chlorine based sanitizer immediately before milking.
We go to all efforts to make sure that everything we use to bring milk to you is clean and safe.

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