Milk sampling quality of students participating in the research project ‘selective non drying off'
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From May 2011 until September 2012 the Animal Health Service (AHS) investigated selective non drying off with dairy cattle. Students took milk samples at the dairy farms participating in this research project. The purpose of this study was to determine the students’ quality of milk sampling. If three or more dissimilar colony types were found after bacteriological examination, this sample was characterized as a contaminated milk sample (CMS). This was seen as an erroneous sample, because the sample was most probably polluted with environmental germs. Firstly, the advances in milk sampling quality per student was determined: the first two weeks of the internship (part A) were compared with the remainder of the internship (part B). There was no significant difference, which means that there was no significant improvement or deterioration during the participation period of the students. Secondly, the percentages of CMS taken by the students were compared to the percentage of CMS in all other milk samples sent to the laboratory of the AHS. There was no significant difference in quality either. Finally, the quality of the students was compared with the milk sampling quality of the farmers participating in the research project. Students had a significant lower percentage CMS than farmers. We can conclude that the quality of the milk sampling done by the students was sufficient. The quality did not significantly differ from the quality of samples normally submitted to the laboratory and was better than that of the farmers involved in this project.