High fat dairy products, such as butter and margarine can be contaminated during the milk production process with a residue called Trichloromethane (TCM), which results from the use of chlorine based detergent solutions. Although, TCM concentrations in Irish products are not at levels that are a public health issue, such contamination can cause marketing difficulties in countries to which Irish products are being exported. In an attempt to reduce such milk residues, a template procedure was developed, tried and tested on 43 farms (from 3 processing companies). This involved identifying farms with high TCM milk, applying corrective action in the form of advice and recommendations to reduce TCM and re-measuring milks from these farms. Trichloromethane in milk was measured by head-space gas chromatography with electron capture detector. The TCM reduction strategy proved successful in significantly reducing the levels in milk in the farms tested, e.g. TCM was reduced from 0·006 to the target of 0·002 mg/kg (P < 0·05). The strategy was then applied to farms who supplied milk to six Irish dairy processors with the objective of reducing TCM in those milks to a level of ⩽0·002 mg/kg. Initially, milk tankers containing milks from approximately 10–15 individual farms were sampled and analysed and tankers with high TCM (>0·002 mg/kg) identified. Individual herd milks contributing to these tankers were subsequently sampled and analysed and farms supplying high TCM identified. Guidance and advice was provided to the high TCM milk suppliers and levels of TCM of these milk supplies were monitored subsequently. A significant reduction (minimum P < 0·05) in milk TCM was observed in 5 of the 6 dairy processor milks, while a numerical reduction in TCM was observed in the remaining processor milk.