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High-tech versus tradition: Maasai milk compares well to domestic top farms

Drinking water, an unbroken cold chain, reliable detergents - all these hygiene measures are not available to the Maasai. Yet they produce milk of excellent quality. | © Veterinarians without Borders

Milk is susceptible to various kinds of germs, which can be transferred to humans through food and cause infectious diseases. In Austria, strict hygiene measures are taken in each production step, so that dangerous germs do not get into food. Before milking, the udder of the animals is cleaned carefully. Necessary drinking water is available in sufficient quantities. Farmers, dairies and trade ensure continuous cooling from the raw milk to the final product in the shops. Detergents also make an important contribution to hygiene.

For the Maasai in East Africa, hygiene in the production and processing of milk is a major challenge. Drinking water is rare. Detergents are not available. Therefore, as reported, they rely on the traditional method of smoke-treating their milk calabashes. The result is milk of excellent quality. With less than 1000 germs per litre of milk, the Maasai achieve a result that only few Austrian farmers can compare with.

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