Are milk tanker trucks refrigerated?

Well, are they? They don’t look like refrigerated on the road. Can milk travel in 90 degree weather without refrigeration?

You think it’s refrigerated in the cow’s udder?

Prior to being pasteurized, homogenized, vitamins A & D added, etc. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Hmmm… maybe I was influenced too much by my mother screaming “Hurry up! Come on! We’ve got milk in the car!!!”

It was what she screamed whenever we were dawdling, and she could use that warning because we always were buying another gallon of milk.

It was effective because she conveyed the idea that if we tarried, the precious, precious milk would suddenly go bad without refrigeration. And that was understood to be a bad thing.


It doesn’t need to be refrigerated in the cow because it’s just been made and is not exposed to air inside an udder. Once it’s out, it has a limited shelf life, pasteurized, homogenized or not.

Human breast milk can be left out for about 12 hours before it goes bad. IANACow, and I don’t know the exact time limit for cow’s milk.

Yes, milk trucks are refrigerated or sterilized and insulated to keep milk cold.

Once it’s pasteurized, packaged in individual jugs and sealed, it’s more or less almost sterile, and can sit out for a bit (a day or two), but not indefinitely. And it will go bad sooner after opening, even if you refrigerate it again.

A tanker truck does not produce white corpuscles.

My understanding is ‘raw milk’ won’t go bad the same way that pasturized milk does. I don’t recall if I had raw cow’s milk, but have had raw and pasturized goat milk and taste wise, as the age there is a difference, the pasturized milk gets nasty, while the raw type seems to pick up a stronger flavor.

In my experience, human milk doesn’t go bad at about 70 F for nearly 10 hours. It does not last nearly that long at 80 F. If it has been frozen, it seems to go bad very quickly and cannot be allowed to sit once thawed at all, but must be used immediately. I have been told that cow’s milk would be similar.

Um, how do you know if the human breast milk went bad?

It smells bad, curdles against the side of the bottle and the baby (usually) won’t drink it. If she *will *drink it, she throws it back up very quickly or has bad breath. Bad breath is very unusual in babies, and means either their milk was sour or they’re sick.

Thanks. I was afraid you had to taste it to make sure it hadn’t gone bad.

:smiley: No. I tasted it 'cause I wanted to! (Tastes like melted vanilla milk shake. Very sweet.)

What about the UHT milk? Is that subjected to that treatment before or after transport in the milk tankers?

When I lived in Germany back in the very early 1980s, I got used to drinking that stuff and was disappointed in the flavor of “regular” milk after I moved back to the US.

Probably after.

Tanker trucks usually contain strictly raw milk. About the only processing done on the farm is cooling the milk. Everything else is done after it arrives at the creamery.

From a former dairy farmer;

1.) Yes, milk tankers are refrigerated, as are the storage tanks on the dairy.

2.) Raw milk sours pretty fast - a matter of hours at normal dairy barn in the summer temperatures (85 °F and up).

3.) In addition to being refrigerated on the farm, it is also homogenized in the sense that it is kept under constant agitation to prevent the cream from separating. More or less permanent homogenization is done at the processing plant

Around here neither the route trucks that haul the raw milk from the farm to the creamery or the big semi-tractor transports that haul the milk from the creamery (really a central collection point) to the plants are refrigerated. They are, however, insulated and have shiny polished aluminum double walls. The raw milk is refrigerated in the farmer’s bulk tank and, after testing for stuff like mastitis and contaminates, refrigerated at the creamery until in is poured into the transports who go hell-bent-for-leather for the bottling plants. The idea is to have the milk hold temperature from the farmer’s bulk tank to the bottling plant. That can be done at least expense with a fast run and lots of insulation. Remember the milk comes out of the cow at about 105 F and the farmer cools it down to about 40 F before the stuff ever sees a truck.

I used smell and if it passed the sniff test, taste it. Good milk is quite sweet. Left to sit, my milk did tend to separate a bit but it was not curdled, just the fat floating to top and sticking together. A good shake would usually mix it back up.