80 Years of News: Dirty milk bottles set them a poser

The Beacon, Friday, May 23, 1980

May 23, 1980

Decomposed mice, cockroaches, traces of oil and pieces of wood – how would you react if you found one of these in a bottle of milk?

Staff at the Whakatane Milk Treatment Station are concerned that people are putting out bottles that are dirty and in some cases have objects inside them.

As manager of the station, Mr Ian Snowsill, told the Beacon, the dirtier the bottles are, the harder it is for the station’s washers to clean them.

Many bottles have to be destroyed because of the health hazard of their previous contents, he said.

Although the washers are efficient, there is no way they could clean out some of the muck that turns up in bottles.

Usually the vendor will leave behind a dirty bottle, said Mr Snowsill, but with the end of daylight saving often the vendor cannot inspect bottles in the dark.

The bottles are also visually inspected three times at the station – once in the crate, entering the factory, again coming out of the crate, when they would be returned to the vendor, and finally when they are filled with milk.

Once the bottle is put in to the washer, it becomes the station’s responsibility. It could be prosecuted by the Health Department if standards of cleanliness are not met.

He stressed that it would make the station’s job a lot easier if people just washed out their bottles properly before returning them.

Other substances, such as medicines, oil or insecticides should never be kept in milk bottles, he said.

“They are food containers.”