Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/73

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69
THE PROBLEM OF CITY MILK SUPPLIES

What does the farmer do with the milk after his cans have been filled? In many cases the cans have no covers and instances are known where open cans are kept over night in filthy barns. Odors are taken up readily by milk and chickens and other fowl find comfortable places for roosting on the cans. The amount of milk sold that contains little or no filth is small. Such milk is necessarily higher priced than ordinary milk, as many precautions have to be observed to produce it. It is higher priced, however, only in a sense. By paying more for each quart we get a pure article with full food value, and have a reasonable assurance that no diseases are communicated that way. Thus there is really a saving, as diseases are always expensive.

How is it feasible to procure milk which is satisfactory from the standpoint of the sanitarian? The principal thing is that the consumer demand a good product and he must know what constitutes good milk. It is relatively easy to discover rotten eggs, decayed meat and vegetables, because these are betrayed by the odor. Milk, however, does not putrefy in the way eggs and meat do, and even the taste is apt to be misleading. Chemical and chiefly bacteriological tests are the only safe guides to the dectection of poor milk. For it must be remembered that fresh clean milk, which contains few bacteria and is safeguarded against their entrance, will not spoil for many weeks. It decomposed more or less rapidly in proportion to the numbers of bacteria present, and bacteria enter milk chiefly with dust, dirt and through the agency of flies. The problem then is to prevent bacteria as much as possible from gaining access to milk and this object can be attained only by scrupulous cleanliness.

The enormous mortality of infants is thought to be largely due to poor milk. In some localities a successful battle has been fought and is

PSM V80 D073 Problem of city milk supply 4 1912.png
Photograph 4