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Dairy Drug Residue Information

Accidental antibiotic drug residues can result from a number of circumstances. Most incidents fall in four categories, which could be prevented with proper care and precautions. The following list is an overview of the most common sources of drug residue contamination by category.


  • milked a treated cow into a bucket, but did not rinse the claw and teat cup

  • rinsed weigh jar and line improperly after milking a treated cow

  • milked a treated cow into a bucket and continued to use the bucket without rinsing

  • cross-contaminated calf medication: hands, buckets, mixed milk in milking parlor


  • milked a treated cow that had lost a leg band

  • forgot to identify treated cow that was milked next milking

  • placed milker on treated cow, realized mistake and took milker off quickly, but did not rinse

  • treated dry cow that did not get moved out of pen before next milking

  • milked a treated cow into tank instead of bucket; forgot to switch hoses

  • milker overlooked marking of a treated cow that was identified with chalk

  • cattle hauler stopped on way to a sale to water and milk cow; hauler said cow was not treated and milked her into the tank


  • intermammary infusion of Exenel

  • contaminated needle used to reconstitute Naxcel

  • contaminated needle used for intermammary infusion of saline


  • overflow bucket used to milk treated cow overflowed into pipeline