The application of a steady field test program along with proper fieldman supervision markedly reduced the antibiotic incidence in milk at one large New York State fluid milk and cream dairy firm. Using the simple Cornell field antibiotic test kit much of the time, approximately 10,000 milks were tested over a four-month period on about 4,000 farms. The incidence in milk from producer can farms dropped from 6.5 per cent to 0.45 per cent during this period. On producer bulk tank farms the rate of incidence dropped from 5.1 per cent to between 0 and 0.5 per cent. As a result of this significant drop, no over-the-road tanker of milk destined for metropolitan areas contained antibiotics within the sensitivity limits of the tests employed.

Control of the antibiotic contamination of milk apparently is only as effective as the testing program. Because cows are constantly being treated with antibiotics the incidence of these drugs in milk will be a reflection of the constancy of testing.

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Author notes

1This work was supported in part by U. S. Public Health Grant No. E-2078.