DFNB started a trial in June 2021 with Lactanet to provide a weekly IBC (Individual Bacteria Count) result to each NB producer. These IBC results are for information purposes only and will not result in any milk quality infractions or penalties. Samples must be delivered within 48 hours of milk pickup and be stored between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius to qualify for IBC testing.

Samples that meet the above criteria will first be tested for IBC and then proceed to be tested for components, SCC and MUN. Those that don’t will only be tested for components, SCC and MUN as long as they meet the component test criteria. IBC results will be published in the Test Result report available in the DFNB portal’s document section and on the monthly producer statement.

Lactanet's milk quality advisors suggest the following thresholds:
Results of 20,000 IBC/ml and less are excellent.
Results between 20,000 and 50,000 IBC/ml or less are adequate.
Results between 50,000 and 121,000 IBC/ml are acceptable. However a count of bacteria in this interval may indicate that a quality problem is developing. The producer is invited to take action and check his washing and cooling system as a first step. A result of this order of magnitude makes the producer vulnerable to having an unacceptable result in the future. 

Results greater than 121,000 IBC/ml are considered unacceptable and indicate that there is a problem that needs to be corrected. The intervention of a professional who will carry out an inspection of the washing and cooling systems is highly recommended. Milk containing a high bacterial concentration has a reduced shelf life and is more complex to process.