Take a quick thought about this! Would you consume something that you knew was contaminated? Often we refer milk as a comfort food, though most of us know very little about it and most people will sell this product only for profit with very little care about the quality which literally begins in pre-production. We all have seen advertisement on billboards of illusion pictures of quality milk but let’s get to understand what it entails.

Good Milk quality is observed by ensuring that milk is free of blood, hairs and milk is not from a sick animal. The normal colour of milk is yellowish white. There are several factors which can affect the quality of milk, they include;

  1.   Environmental factors that include weather and geographical conditions of an area, feeds which will be affected in terms of quality and at times prices become expensive  hence  farmers being unable to buy  and milk quality changes .
  2. Biological factors where health is a key factor especially mastitis, milk from a sick animal, type and quality of feeds fed to an animal, long duration of milking without a cow calving yearly, hygiene during, after and while transporting milk.

Milk should always be tested at the collection centre by the clerk for; alcohol test, smell and sight test and lactometer test and if the sample of the milk fails any of the tests, the milk is rejected.

Narrowing down to what is common in the larger Kiambu region especially the area around Limuru mastitis has been a common disease affecting farmers hence rejection of milk being so common .


Mastitis is a bacterial infection of the udder mostly caused by poor hygiene at the farm level.

Causes of mastitis

Incomplete milking, poor milking hygiene, milking sick cows before the healthy ones, dirty cow sheds

We can use a strip cup at the farm level test as illustrated below; mastitis lowers the milk quality (i.e. shelf life) which causes milk rejection by the clerks.

This picture illustrates clots in milk, which is a sign of an infected quarter/udder.

The following image illustrates blood in milk, which can be caused by an injured/hit udder.Mastitis can be spread from one cow to the other through use of infected equipment.

The bottom right quarter shows how milk from an   infected quarter looks like.

This information is courtesy of Extension Department in collaboration with our  media and IT  Department for research 

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