What to do if Milk is Rejected

High quality milk and milk products start with quality milk supplied by dairy farms. However occasionally milk doesn't meet regulatory standards and must be rejected. Bulk Tank Milk Graders (BTMGs), more commonly referred to as 'drivers', are trained and certified for their duties associated with collection of milk at the farm including grading of milk in the bulk tank to determine whether or not it is 'acceptable'.

BTMG Responsibilities

Criteria used to determine milk acceptability is provided in Regulation 761 of the Milk Act (Ontario). Section 51 (1) of the regulation requires that a BTMG reject milk that,

  • is not clean;
  • has an objectionable flavour or odour;
  • shows evidence of being watery, flaky, stringy, bloody, thick or adulterated;
  • shows evidence of melted or churned fat floating on the surface of the milk; or
  • contains any foreign substance.

In addition, milk must be cooled as quickly as possible after milking. Farm bulk tanks must be capable of cooling milk to a temperature of 4°Celcius within 2 hours after the completion of milking. Once cooled, milk temperature must be maintained between 1 and 4°Celcius for the duration of storage. Check with your milk broker for acceptance criteria related to milk temperature at time of pickup.

Figure 1: Milk that contains a foreign object will be rejected.

Figure 1: Milk that contains a foreign object will be rejected.

Milk Rejection Procedures

Milk that does not meet milk grading criteria is known as 'rejected milk' and is left in the bulk tank. Rejected milk cannot be marketed by your milk broker. The decision by the BTMG to reject a bulk tank of milk is final.

If the BTMG determines that the milk must be rejected, he must refuse to transfer the milk, and shall,

  • fill out a red rejection tag indicating the reason for the rejection, and attach it to the tank;
  • clearly indicate the reason for rejection on the milk collection receipt;
  • attempt to notify the producer; and
  • notify the milk broker as soon as possible; and
  • notify OMAFRA.

Producer Responsibility

It is the producer's responsibility to empty the rejected bulk tank of milk, dispose of the milk in an environmentally approved manner and wash the bulk tank prior to the next milking. Milk brokers will monitor subsequent bulk tanks of milk for irregularities in volume.

Grading milk is a vital step in the system that protects the quality and safety of the milk supply. Producers and BTMGs both have important roles to play in ensuring only acceptable milk is marketed.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca