About Our Raw Milk Safety Program
Our Raw Milk Testing Program:
As the world’s leading innovator and pioneer in raw milk production food safety systems, we are deeply committed to the safe production of high-quality raw milk. We were the first to develop and implement a comprehensive Risk Analysis Management Program (RAMP) ten years ago and continue to improve our food safety program as better technology becomes available.
We utilize industry standard testing technologies to create a whole new level of low risk, and safe raw milk. Our high standards are achieved through a team approach to address all risk elements from Grass to Glass. As part of our food safety plan, our milk is Triple Tested by three different entities: the Fresno County Health Department, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), as well as a 3rd party laboratory.
All of our raw milk products are stamped with a lot ID. Each day’s milking receives its own unique ID. This allows us to efficiently connect each product to its test results.
Our one-of-a-kind Test and Hold Policy: Every lot code is tested to be clear of E.Coli O157: H7 prior to release. Once negative results are confirmed, our products are released for distribution.
Our goal is to achieve the best possible representative sample of our Lot ID’s (a single batch of raw milk). In consulting with industry and lab specialists, we have identified a highly representative sample collecting method that is used every day of the year. We collect 20 unique and individual samples from every Lot ID. We then combine those individual samples into one composite to be sent to our independent, State approved lab. That composite sample is tested for E. Coli O157: H7, along with many other samples per day that are tested for quality and general cleanliness indicators. In addition, we also test the finished product from that same Lot ID to provide an extra level of confidence.
The History of the OP Food Safety Program:
Organic Pastures is an internationally recognized pioneer in raw milk food safety. The beginnings of the OP raw milk food safety awareness began in 1997 long before OP was founded when Mark McAfee attended Chapman University and became certified in HACCP. As an apple grower, Mark was recognized as Best of the West Fruit Grower for advances in field food safety hazard reduction. In 2000, OP wrote the first internationally published RAWUSA raw milk production standards. In 2007, OP collaborated with top researchers worldwide, including Dr. Ron Hull Ph.D. of Australia, Dr. Caterina Berge UC Davis, and Dr. Ted Beals MD of Michigan to develop the beginnings of our current Food Safety Program (RAMP- Risk Analysis and Management Plan). Organic Pastures RAMP plan is a “Grass to Glass” comprehensive conditions and risk-based management system that assures consistent test outcomes through audited daily checklist verification of all non-critical, GMP, SSOP and CCP raw milk safety elements. Our RAMP team extensively test our raw milk and filters to provide valuable information. We use the latest on-farm technology to verify our RAMP food safety plan is working including the Mpengo DQI 45 (iPhone App- based system) rapid test for SCC and mastitis pathogens. We proudly publish our RAMP Food Safety Plan and lab results. OP is LISTED with the Raw Milk Institute as a dairy who meets the highest national and international raw milk safety standards.