Assessing your milk cooling performance

30 January 2018

February is a great time of year to assess your milk cooling system particularly with the new raw milk temperature standards coming into effect on 1st June.

Under the new standards, raw milk must: Be cooled to 10ºC or below within four hours of the commencement of milking; and Be cooled to 6ºC or below within either:

  1. Six hours of the commencement of milking, or
  2. Two hours from the completion of milking, whichever is the soonest; and

Be held at or below 6ºC without freezing until collection or the next milking;and

Not exceed 10ºC during subsequent milkings.

Assess Your Current Milk Cooling Performance

We recommend you use a checklist to assess whether your farm cooling system is likely to meet the proposed new cooling regulations.

By completing this assessment you are taking a snapshot of your cooling performance, which only provides an indication of current temperature. It does not necessarily mean that you will meet the standards for 365 days of the year.

If you remove milk from the milking system to determine its temperature, do not return it to the vat.

Use an accurate temperature gauge suitable for use in the farm dairy (i.e. no glass thermometers).

If you answer No to any of the questions that apply to your situation, contact your refrigeration specialist to review your vat refrigeration and discuss changes needed to meet the new standards.

Farm Source have partnered with Tru-Test, Snapchill and Varicool to offer exclusive deals on milk cooling systems to Fonterra farmers with the goal of reducing costs to meet the new milk temperature standards. To find out more, talk to your local Farm Source Team or visit