Rubber goods such as liners and short milk tubes are prone to deterioration and cracking — providing an ideal place for bacteria to grow and hide from cleaners and sanitizers. Hoses that are pinched by shut-offs or bent excessively have a limited life as well before they begin to deteriorate.

No matter how well your system is cleaning, it will not be able to properly clean worn rubber or hose components with cracks and tears, says Rick Watters, milk quality and udder health specialist with GEA Farm Technologies. A smooth, well-cleaned and sanitized surface is the best way to limit bacteria count problems. Changing rubber goods and hoses should be part of your scheduled maintenance program to prevent any future issues.