This study was done to correlate incidence of salmonellae found in the dry milk processing plant environment with finished product contamination. Three plants with various histories of environmental salmonellae incidence were chosen for the study. The daily plant samples representing one lot of production were placed in a 1500-g composite in a sterile sample container and submitted to the central analytical laboratory for analysis. Two samples of nonfat dry milk were found to contain salmonellae in 8 continuous months of sampling and testing. In each instance of finished product positive, the environment had at least four positive samples recorded in the routine environmental program during the week or on the day in which the positive product was noted. Repeat tests of the positive product were negative on one lot and confirmed the positive in two of three retests of the other lot. It may be concluded from this study that controlling salmonellae in the dry milk plant environment will effectively preclude finished product contamination since dry milks are produced in essentially closed systems in a process that includes a pasteurization step.

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