Dear Reader, it is important to note that not all pasteurizers for donor human milk available on the market meet the HMBANA (USA) or NICE (UK) and many of the other worlds leading milk banking guidelines for the safe treatment of donor human milk.

Please see below our frequently asked questions for points that need to be taken into consideration if you are to meet human milk banking guidelines.

All of the Sterifeed pasteurisers safety features are based on 40 years of scientific evidence based research papers from all around the world. Please visit our Scientific papers section to read the scientific evidence papers that all Human Milk Banking guidelines are based from.

Question: Does the pasteuriser comply with all guidelines?

The Sterifeed range of pasteurizers complies with NICE, ( UK)  HMBANA, ( North America ) Swedish, Italian and Australian published guidelines with the emphasis on rapid refrigerated cooling as part of the cycle.

Question: Is a temperature control bottle that is placed in the pasteuriser to record the milk temperature essential?

Sterifeed Pasteurizers come complete with a data logger and probe to record the key milk temperature in the pasteurization cycle.

  1.  According to the HMBANA milk banking guidelines 2b (USA) it is an essential requirement to have a temperature control bottle to record and monitor the milk temperature.
  2. All Sterifeed pasteurisers use a control bottle with probe and data logger which takes readings of the milk temperature in the pasteurization cycle every minute. Resulting in full data verification of the pasteurization cycle.
  3. Electronic data verification via data logger and probe in control bottle is crucial to prove you have safely treated the donor human milk.
  4. With the Sterifeed data logger and probe you have complete electronic records of your proof of treatment saved to your PC.
  5. Amazingly there are pasteurizers on the market that do not use a control bottle, probe and data logger.

Question: How important is cooling?

Pasteurizer suppliers who claim that refrigerated cooling might not be safe have not done their homework as their pasteurizer will not meet many of the worlds human milk banking guidelines.

  1. Rapid refrigerated cooling with final pasteurization cycle temperature of 4°C/ 39.2°F is the evidence based scientific research requirement for the safe treatment of human milk.
  2. Rapid refrigerated cooling forms a crucial part of the pasteurization process as it limits the regrowth of bacteria. Pasteurizers that don't have rapid refrigerated cooling do not meet the worlds leading human milk banking associations guidelines.  
  3. There is no risk of leaking, contamination and explosion. Sterifeed pasteurizers use HFC refrigerant which is hydrogen based, it does not contribute to ozone depletion and is commonly used in household refrigerators & freezers.
  4. Refrigerated cooling is a vital feature for safe pasteurization. Without a built in refrigerated cooling system the equipment would not be a pasteurizer but would be classified merely as a water bath.

Question: Is cooling with tap water sufficient?

  1. Tap water cooled pasteurisers do not meet milk banking guidelines on rapid cooling such as the NICE guidelines (UK) which clearly states the final milk temperature in the pasteuriser should be 4°C / 39.2°F.                         
  2. The problem with tap water cooling is that tap water temperature varies from summer to winter and from location to location (i.e. summer tap water temperature in LA can be as high 75°F) .
  3. The suggestion to place tap water cooled bottles in a fridge to achieve the required temperature of 4°C / 39.2°F is clearly not a satisfactory solution as this would raise the fridge temperature.

Question: How important is submerging bottles?

Pasteurizers that do not submerge the entire bottle during the heating process do not meet the HMBANA guidelines 2.a nor do they meet many of the other world leading human milk banking guidelines.

  1. The reason why submerging the entire bottle during the pasteurization cycle is a key requirement is to ensure the entire bottle is treated.
  2. There is a risk by not submerging the bottle that droplets of milk adhere to the cap or neck of the bottle are not treated.
  3. Some pasteuriser manufacturers believe that this has no benefit, the reason being that their equipment is not capable of changing the water levels as bottles should not be submerged during the cooling phase (unless hermetic foils seal bottles are used).
  4. Studies have clearly shown that there is a risk that droplets captured in the cap area would not receive the same treatment as the rest of the bottle.

Question: Should the bottles have hermetic foil seals?

Using hermetic foil seals has two advantages

  1. The foil seal provides 100% tamper evidence with regards to transportation to other hospitals you may be supplying pasteurised donor human milk to.
  2. Pasteurisation capacity can be doubled as bottles can be submerged during both heating and cooling in double storey baskets. This also saves on microbiological testing i.e. half the cost.
  3. Hermetic foil seals are the ultimate safety feature, user errors by not tightening the caps properly are eliminated.

Question: Can the pasteurisation temperature be adjusted?

Pasteurisation temperature and time can be adjusted but only with pre-agreed protocol.

Question: What is the processing capacity?

The Sterifeed processing capacity is as follows:


  • 12 bottles 130 or 250ml


  • 36 bottles @ 130ml or 72 bottles with foils seals in double storey baskets
  • 36 bottles @ 250ml (not suitable for double storey baskets)
  • 48 bottles @ 50ml or 96 with foil seal bottles in double storey baskets


  • 72 bottles @ 130ml or 144 bottles with foils seals in double storey baskets
  • 72 bottles @ 250ml (not suitable for double storey baskets)
  • 96 bottles @ 50ml or 192 bottles with foils seals in double storey baskets

Question: Can you pasteurise different size bottles at the same time?

Due to the special Sterifeed basket design it is possible to pasteurise 130ml bottles and 250ml bottles during the same cycle in our S90 and our S180 models.

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