|CHARACTERISTICS AND COMMON VULNERABILITIES INFRASTRUCTURE CATEGORY: AGRICULTURAL PROCESSING FACILITIES – MILK PROCESSING||SENSITIVE HOMELAND SECURITY INFORMATION – LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE||January 15, 2004||Download|
|POTENTIAL INDICATORS OF TERRORIST ACTIVITY INFRASTRUCTURE CATEGORY: AGRICULTURAL PROCESSING FACILITIES – MILK PROCESSING||SENSITIVE HOMELAND SECURITY INFORMATION – LAW ENFORCEMENT SENSITIVE||January 30, 2004||Download|
Characterization of the Industry
This section provides basic information about the structure of the industry. Figure 1 shows milk
production in the United States. Figure 2 shows the distribution of production by state. The top
five states of California, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota account for 52%
of total U.S. milk production. The top 10 states, which also include Idaho, Michigan, New
Mexico, Washington, and Texas, account for more than 70% of total milk production. Of all
dairy products, fluid milk enters and leaves the distribution channel most rapidly. Cream and
butterfat can be extracted from whole fluid milk to produce a variety of other dairy products:
reduced-fat milk and higher-butterfat products such as butter, cheese, cottage cheese, cream
cheese, and ice cream. Value-added products, such as flavored yogurts, yogurt drinks, and
nutritional and sports beverages, have shorter product life cycles. Dairy products and their
derivatives are also often used as ingredients for remanufacturing (e.g., whey, nonfat dry-milk
solids, cheeses). Most dairies that produce whole and reduced-fat milk for retail sale also
produce many of the value-added products mentioned.The consumption of milk products (as
both fluid milk and processed products) per capita varies widely, with highs occurring in Europe
and North America and lows occurring in Asia. In 2001, per-capita consumption in the U.S. diet
was significant: 587.2 pounds of dairy products, 207.5 pounds of fluid whole milk and cream,
4.5 pounds of butter, 30 pounds of cheese, and 16.1 pounds of ice cream (U.S. Department of
Agriculture [USDA] Marketing Service).
Butter is produced from the separation of butterfat from the whole milk product. The buttermaking
process involves a number of stages (Figure 10). The continuous butter maker has
become the most common type of equipment used.
Cream can either be supplied by a fluid milk dairy or separated from whole milk by the butter
manufacturer. If cream is separated by the butter manufacturer, the whole milk is preheated to
the required temperature in a milk pasteurizer before being passed through a separator. The
cream is cooled and led to a storage tank, where the fat content is analyzed and adjusted to the
desired value, if necessary. The skim milk from the separator is pasteurized and cooled before
being pumped to storage. It is usually destined for concentration and drying.
The basic steps in manufacturing ice cream are shown in Figure 12. The addition of dry
ingredients (e.g., nuts, fruit) to the ice cream blend creates an opportunity for contaminating
biological or chemical agents to be intentionally added.
CONSEQUENCE OF EVENT
There are two main categories of potential consequences of a successful attack on a facility:
1. Contamination of fluid milk and
2. Contamination of milk products.
Successful contamination of fluid milk can have serious public health consequences, since the
product moves through the distribution and consumption stages very quickly. The shelf life of
fluid milk is short compared to the shelf life of other food products; fluid milk is bought and used
by consumers in short time periods. This leads to the potential for a rapid spread of any
Fluid milk is consumed by all segments of the population from infants to the elderly. Health
impacts from contamination could reach a wide range of people, including those with limited
ability to recover from an induced illness.
Some milk products such as cheese and ice cream have longer shelf lives and more limited
consumption patterns than does fluid milk. Health impacts from the contamination of these
products would be confined to a smaller group. Moreover, the longer times between production
and consumption allow for response actions (e.g., product recall) to be implemented more
For both fluid milk and milk products, any contamination event would have serious
consequences even beyond the direct health impacts. Loss of consumer confidence in a particular
brand or product as a result of a contamination event, or even a contamination scare, could pose
significant economic burdens on the companies involved in its production. Loss of revenue and
the costs of carrying out a significant product recall could bankrupt small milk processors.