Daf HaKashrus is a monthly publication of the OU (old archives are here: link). I have the Daf HaShanah #18, the collected issues of Daf HaKashrus from Sep ’09 through Sep ’10. The following article by R. Avrohom Gordimer is on page 48:
In a recent issue of The Daf HaKashrus (Vol. 17 No. 3), we presented information about the contemporary controls and regulations that pertain to government inspection of milk, demonstrating (with the concurrence of Rav Belsky, shlita), that the Igros Moshe’s heter for cholov stam is alive and even stronger than before.
In brief, we noted that current protocol includes government inspection of farms (which was not always the case in prior days – see Igros Moshe YD 1:49), which precludes milk from non-kosher species from entering the commercial milk chain. We described how milk used in commercial dairy plants can only be provided by government-approved source farms, and how government inspectors track documentation for all milk shipped to commercial dairies to assure that it indeed originates from a government-inspected farm.
After discussion with a high-ranking senior dairy farm inspector in upstate New York, as well as with administrative officials at departments of agriculture of several states, the following additional points of information were determined to be worthy of publication to the readership:
- Goat and sheep milk farms must be licensed specifically for these types of milk. Otherwise, all milk licensing applies only to cow milk.
- Farms which have animals other than cows (most notably Amish farms) must either keep the other animals in different quarters from the cows, or – if this is not feasible – a partition must be erected to physically prevent the other animals from contacting the cows.
- Animals other than cows (or goats and sheep, as per the farm’s license) are never permitted in the milking parlors or milking areas of barns. Their presence in the milking areas would be a red flag violation.
- Dairy farms are strictly prohibited from adding milk from any other species to cow milk.
- Milk from all dairy farms that provide the commercial market must be sent to laboratories for analysis. Unlike the laboratory analysis conducted on milk samples taken from dairy plants, the analysis of dairy farm milk tests for protein, fat and cell levels, all of which indicate whether the milk is from cow or other species. Even one pail of milk from other species intermingled in a silo sample of cow milk would show up in the results and indicate that the milk is not pure cow milk.
- The state routinely reviews the laboratory analyses of milk from all dairy farms which supply the commercial milk chain.
* This new information does not in any way negate the validity of the p’sakim which do not accept cholov stam, such as Chelkas Yaakov 2:37-38, and the apparent objection to any notion of cholov stam in the Aruch Ha-Shulchan – YD 115:5.
Rabbi Gordimer sent me the following from a report of his visit to a dairy in a southern US state (names omitted):
I inquired of Mr. H about traceability (in general, not only at company H) of milk from the plant back to each dairy farm. This is critical for the heter of cholov stam, as the current state inspections required for the heter occur only at the farm level. I asked Mr. H how the state inspectors who come to the plant are able to access data from the farms and verify that all milk received at dairy processing plants originates from state-inspected farms, as milk tankers usually come from a dairy cooperative which acts as a middleman, collecting milk from numerous farms and blending this milk together into each tanker.
Mr. H showed me that the rear bay of each tanker contains a set of numerous milk samples, each in a coded flask, and that the code of each flask must be recorded at the milk receiving bay. Each of these flasks contains a sample of milk from every single farm whose milk is in the tanker, and the samples are all sent for testing upon receipt by the dairy processor. Thus, there is solid traceability from farm to dairy processor, irrespective of any dairy cooperative middlemen. (Mr. H showed me how the codes of each milk sample are recorded when the milk is used in each application at the plant, at every step, so that the exact tanker and farms that provided the milk used in every product can be readily determined.)