Numbers and types of microorganisms in retail pasteurized fluid milk products were determined as well as the effect that type of product, brand, and season of the year had on counts of 13 different microbial types. Clostridium perfringens was the only pathogen detected and it averaged less than one organism per milliliter. Chocolate milk samples generally had the highest mean counts, followed by skim milk, low-fat (2%), and whole milk (3.25%). Most brands had means for the various microbial counts which were not significantly different from each other. Only three brands had counts which differed significantly from other brands. Psychrotrophic, coliform, staphylococcal, yeast and mold, and Standard Plate Counts were highest between May and October, while counts for spores, streptococci, and thermophiles were highest between December and March. No seasonal trends were detected for counts of anaerobes, C. perfringens, enterococci, or lactobacilli.

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Author notes

1Published with the approval of the Director of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station as journal aritcle no. 76-5-93

2Present adress: Poultry Science Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.