Associated Press BOZEMAN - Darigold, a statewide dairy co-op based in Bozeman, recalled 93,000 gallons of milk that might have spoiled before the carton-labeled expiration date, a state official said Monday.
Darigold pulled milk from store shelves based on internal quality-control studies, but most of it was still on shipping trucks at the co-op's plant in Bozeman.
Todd Gahagan, a sanitarian who monitored the recall for the state Department of Livestock, said the product was fine. "We need to emphasize to the public that, if anything, this was a voluntary retrieval on their part. They didn't have to do this."
Some area retailers were briefly without Darigold milk Saturday as the milk was pulled and replaced.
Darigold Manager Keith Nye said the dairy recently installed a new milk processor and storage tanks. When the new equipment was put to the test, the milk it processed didn't have the desired shelf life.
The dairy has an on-site laboratory, which measures bacteria naturally present in milk to determine the shelf life of each batch of milk Darigold processes. Bacteria levels in milk processed last Thursday and Friday indicated that the milk would not meet its target expiration date, Gahagan said.
His department regulates the milk industry.
Gahagan said troubleshooters traced the problem to a piece of machinery that wasn't installed correctly. After repairs early Saturday, subsequent batches of milk were determined to have the desired shelf life of about three weeks.
The Darigold co-op includes all the dairy farms in the Gallatin Valley and more than half of the 140 or so dairy farms statewide. Last year the co-op had total revenues of about $40 million.