What does “Milk” (a System/Sample Type) indicate? A bodily fluid (i.e., human breast milk) or a beverage/food type (e.g., cow’s milk)? My online research indicates that it is being used both ways. Please advise.
Holly van Kleeck, Health Language
Looking at the veterinary codes, I would say the vast majority are the same concept as human bodily fluid except for species. That is, the milk is a body fluid specimen used to tell us something about the health of the mother animal (cow, goat, sheep, camel, water buffalo, etc.). There are a few cases such as “20965-0 Somatic cells [#/volume] in Milk” are both a measure of food safety and the mother’s health status. And then there are a bunch of purely food safety tests. Those still tell us something about the mother in most cases. In every case, the substance is the same thing but for the species it comes from and how much processing may have been done. So unmodified “Milk” seems right to me in most cases. Should we have a “Milk - Product” for cases that only apply to milk as a food product that has been through some manipulation on the way toward being a human food. (Of course human milk that has been stored for later use would fall in the same category, right?)