National Milk Laboratories (NML), part of the NMR group, has officially
opened its new site at Hillington near Glasgow in Scotland. This
new laboratory facility is equipped with the latest milk testing
equipment and replaces the old site at Paisley.
NML director Ben Bartlett
It is responsible for bulk milk payment testing on behalf of
milk buyers. Together with its laboratory at Wolverhampton, NML
is responsible for 99% of milk payment testing in the UK. Milk
samples from buyers including Claymore, Dairy Crest, Dairy Farmers
of Britain, First Milk, Grahams, Milk Link, Orkney, Quothquan,
Sorn, Westlake Dairy Park and Wisemans will be tested at Hillington.
“As well as milk quality testing for payment purposes,
the new facility also offers disease and microbiology testing
services,” says NML director Ben Bartlett. “It is
a unique testing site in Scotland with two additional laboratories
for further tests on milk samples under the one roof. One of
these laboratories has the latest high-tech resources for disease
testing including Leptospirosis, BVD, IBR and Johne’s Disease.
“A microbiology testing lab also operates within the Hillington
site and this is used particularly on high cell count milk to
identify the pathogens causing infection.”
The NML facility at Hillington is already being used by producers
and vets across Scotland and in the north of England. Tests can
be carried out on bulk milk samples collected and held in store
through the milk buyer route or on individual cow samples sent
directly to the lab through one of NML’s services.
Bulk milk samples are collected off farm by the tanker drivers
and delivered to the depot where the NMR transport network of
refrigerated vans will collect them on a weekly or daily basis.
As part of the service, many milk buyers are opting to collect
bulk milk samples at every milk collection. While one a week
is used for testing, NML will hold the remaining fresh samples
in its fridges should any subsequent testing be required by the
milk buyer, the producer or the vet. A sophisticated bar code
system ensures full traceability of samples through the laboratory.
The NMR group has invested £275k in the new site at Hillington
along with a £200k in new lab kit. The lab employs 14 staff
and operates for 19 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days
a year with a day and night shift.
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