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Dairy Food Safety


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Based upon risk management supported by quality science, the Australian
dairy industry has developed stringent quality management systems that are
underpinned by comprehensive regulatory requirements.

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Dairy Food Safety

  1. 1. the Australian approach Dairy Food Safety National Dairy Food Safety Regulatory Framework
  2. 2. DAIRY FOOD SAFETY the Australian approach National Regulatory Framework Dairy Australia Development of Dairy Food Policy Relationship of Federal and State Regulatory Agencies The Australian New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council consisting of Health and Agriculture Ministers from the states and Federal Government level Partner organisations territories and the Governments of Australia Introduction and New Zealand sets policies for food Development of policy and standards APVMA - agricultural and production in Australia. Food Standards for dairy food production veterinary chemicals Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) uses AQIS AHA - animal health and welfare, The dairy industry is one of Australia’s major rural industries with disease control these policies as a framework to develop approximately 8,000 farmers producing about 9.4 billion litres of milk. FSANZ NLIS - animal identification food standards. Australia is the third largest global exporter of dairy products. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) provides certification for State and Territory Australian dairy farmers are cost efficient pasture based producers of high EPAs - for measures to protect exported dairy products and helps facilitate Government level SDFAs the environment. quality milk. On farm productivity continues to increase through improved market access arrangements. AQIS is also The Australian Pesticide and Veterinary AQIS has arrangements in place with Implementation, enforcement pastures, supplementary feed and herd management techniques. responsible for the surveillance of animals, Medicines Authority (APVMA) is responsible SDPIs and surveillance of standards SDFAs for the enforcement of standards feeds and foods imported into Australia. for a national system that evaluates and for exported product. AQIS may inspect or Viable dairy industries supplying fresh milk to nearby cities and towns exist registers agricultural and veterinary chemicals check test imported foods for compliance International standards and codes of in all Australian states. As a major regional employer, the industry value- and specifies the conditions of use. with Australian standards. practice derived from the Codex Alimentarius adds through the processing of milk to produce butter, cream, frozen Commission, World Animal Health The Animal Health Committee (AHC) All dairy businesses (farm and factory) must Organisation (OIE), World Trade Organisation develops national approaches for the control be licensed. Individual Food Safety Programs milk products, cheese, yoghurts, specialised powdered milks and dairy of animal diseases the implementation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (FSP) for farms and factories are validated ingredients. Around half of the total milk production is exported. Major export (WCO) provide guidelines for Australian food supported by Animal Health Australia (AHA). by SDFAs before licences are granted and markets include Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and The regulation. The National Livestock Identification System compliance monitored through regular (NLIS) provides lifetime traceability for Philippines. Development of Food Standards audits. An annual verification program is animals. conducted by SDFAs and AQIS. Food standards covering all foods produced State Environmental Protection Authorities Based upon risk management supported by quality science, the Australian State Departments of Primary Industries/ domestically or imported for sale in Australia (EPAs) establish and administer regulations dairy industry has developed stringent quality management systems that are and New Zealand are developed by Agriculture (SDPIs) enforce regulations for and codes of practice for the protection underpinned by comprehensive regulatory requirements. Customer needs, FSANZ in conjunction with stakeholders use of chemicals on farms, animal welfare, of the environment including recycling of such as consumers, government agencies control of animal disease and biosecurity food safety and product traceability are paramount drivers for the quality materials and water. and industry groups. The Standards including traceability. systems but factors such as animal welfare, biosecurity and environmental Enforcement and verification are published in the Australian and New The relevant State Veterinary Practitioners sustainability are important considerations in the development of the quality Zealand Food Standards Code (FSC). The Food standards are enforced in the Registration Board registers veterinarians for management programs. Industry quality assurance (QA) programs require all FSC includes the Primary Production and Australian dairy industry predominately clinical practice. Processing Standard for Dairy Products. by State Dairy Food Authorities (SDFA) in sectors of the supply chain to take responsibility for food safety. conjunction with State Health Departments State Environmental Protection Agencies AQIS regulates the export of dairy products (SDoHs) and local government. (EPAs) monitor the environment including The industry works collaboratively with federal and state government to meet importing country requirements water and air supplies for conformance with through the Export Orders. Wherever regulatory agencies and service suppliers to ensure a preventative approach regulatory requirements. possible the Export Orders are harmonised to food safety across the integrated supply chain. Potential risks are with the FSC. Surveillance monitored on an ongoing basis with industry regularly updated on possible A range of industry and regulatory agencies consequences from the risks. The industry approach is outcome focused, monitor the safety and quality of milk and science based, non-prescriptive and proportionate to risk. dairy products through the supply chain. These include dairy companies, regulatory The national regulatory framework is an integrated system involving federal groups such as the Australian New Zealand Dairy Authorities Committee (ANZDAC), and state regulatory agencies, dairy farmers, dairy companies and Dairy federal and state regulatory agencies, Australia. Internationally recognised Codes and Standards provide a basis for SDFAs, SDPIs and EPAs. Australian dairy food regulation. The Australian Milk Residue Analysis (AMRA) Survey is an important measure in monitoring the safety of milk. (See Further information section for more about the AMRA Survey). State Departments of Health (SDHs) monitor the safety of food at retail level. Disclaimer: While Dairy Australia has taken all care to ensure the content of this Booklet is accurate at the time of production, it does not accept responsibility for any errors, and accepts no liability if, for any reason, the information is inaccurate or out of date. page 1
  3. 3. National DAIRY FOOD SAFETY the Australian approach Regulatory Framework NOTES 1. In some regions, the regional Catchment Management authority has responsibility for regulation of effluent and run off.  2. State Health Departments have agreed arrangements with State Dairy Food Authorities for implementation of regulation for the farm,     transport, manufacture and distribution sectors of the supply chain. 3. AQIS approves State Dairy Food Authorities as authorised agencies for export regulations. 4. AQIS is responsible for regulatory oversight of importation of goods in these categories.  Framework Indicates primary responsibility Domestic market Export market  Partner agencies Influences Indicates secondary responsibility FederaI Influences  State Government Influences  FSANZ APVMA SDFAs SDPIs 1 EPAs  2 SDoH  3 AQIS  SDFAs SDPIs AHA NLIS Pre-farm Animals Water 4 Feed 4 Agricultural & Vet chemicals Fertilisers 4 Farm Feed Water Agricultural chemicals Fertilisers Veterinary chemicals Animals Premises and equipment Milking practices Cleaning  Milk storage  Skills and knowledge Traceability Transport Milk / Traceability Manufacture Milk Ingredients Water Packaging material Equipment Cleaning Skilled staff  Traceability Distribution Product / Traceability Markets Product / Traceability page 2 page 3
  4. 4. DAIRY FOOD SAFETY the Australian approach Pre-farm Indicates primary responsibility Domestic market Export market  Partner agencies Indicates secondary responsibility Influences FederaI Influences  State Government Influences  FSANZ APVMA SDFAs SDPIs 1 EPAs  2 SDoH  3 AQIS  SDFAs SDPIs AHA NLIS Animals Water 4 Feed 4 Pre-Farm Agricultural chemicals Veterinary chemicals Fertilisers 4 NOTES 1. In some regions, the regional Catchment Management authority has responsibility for regulation of effluent and run off.  2. State Health Departments have agreed arrangements with State Dairy Food Authorities for implementation of regulation for the farm, transport, manufacture and distribution sectors      of the supply chain. Producing milk and meat requires a range of Electronic ear tags identify all cattle from Only registered veterinarians can prescribe 3. AQIS approves State Dairy Food Authorities as authorised agencies for export regulations. 4. AQIS is responsible for regulatory oversight of importation of goods in these categories.  inputs: feed, livestock, fertiliser, chemicals, the property of birth through to death or prescription veterinary chemical treatments water, skilled labour and other resources. slaughter. This ensures traceability of the for use. The industry sees each of these inputs animal’s movements, interactions with other Potential risks to food safety and Water as essential to food safety and product animals, and health status through its life. product integrity from initial inputs such Farm Food Safety Programs (FSPs) must integrity along the supply chain, so the risks The National Livestock Identification System as feed, livestock, fertilisers, water and ensure water supplies are of suitable quality are identified and controlled by a range of (NLIS) provides the framework for the chemicals are assessed by government to protect animal health and to prevent standards and systems operating well before identification of all Australian livestock. and national industry agencies on an contamination of milk. State Environmental they reach the dairy farm. ongoing basis. Vendor declarations are required to Protection Authorities (EPAs) regulate the Feed accompany animals moving off farm or move disposal of effluent, which must be retained The risk management approach leads Farmers acquire about one-third of their onto the farm from other properties. The on farm and cannot contaminate the water to the development of standards and herd’s feed requirements from off-farm declaration provides information about the supply or environment. codes of practice and guidelines for use sources, including grain, concentrates, specific animal identification, health status, by farmers and the farm service sector. fodder and sometimes by-products from the access to and withhold permits for treated food industry e.g. molasses, brewers grain. feedstuffs and veterinary treatment. The grains and stockfeed industries have Animal Health Australia (AHA) coordinates HACCP based accredited QA programs for the implementation of national animal health use by their members to ensure the feed is programs across Australia. These programs safe for use by livestock e.g. Feedsafe. The are implemented through the SDPIs with the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines assistance of the livestock industries and Authority (APVMA) determines the types of registered veterinarians. chemicals and their use in the production of Fertiliser stockfeed as well as determining maximum State legislation ensures fertilisers are residue limits (MRL). Vendor declarations appropriately labelled, and sets maximum about the background and quality of the feed limits for elements that may accumulate or are supplied with consignments of feed to pose a risk to agriculture over the longer dairy farmers. term. To prevent the transmission of disease, state Chemicals livestock disease control law prohibits the feeding of ruminants with animal material. The importation, manufacture, supplies and Compliance is monitored by Animal Health use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals Australia, State Departments of Primary is tightly regulated through Federal and Industries/Agriculture (SDPIs) and State Dairy state legislation administered by APVMA Food Authorities (SDFAs). in conjunction with state governments. Chemicals including pesticides must be Animals registered before they are supplied to Australia is recognised internationally farmers, a process involving a rigorous as being free of cattle diseases such as assessment of efficacy, safety, and   Tuberculosis, Brucellosis and BSE. AQIS the potential impacts to trade and the manages biosecurity on imported animals environment. An approved label details and plant materials at national level while instructions for use and withholding periods SDPIs are responsible authorities for the for milk and meat. management of biosecurity at state level. page 4 page 5
  5. 5. DAIRY FOOD SAFETY the Australian approach Farm Dairy farms in Australia are primarily Indicates primary responsibility Domestic market Export market  Partner agencies pasture-based with conserved fodders, Indicates secondary responsibility Influences FederaI Influences  State Government Influences  grains and prepared stock-foods used as FSANZ APVMA SDFAs SDPIs 1 EPAs  2 SDoH  3 AQIS  SDFAs SDPIs AHA NLIS supplementary feed. Feed Under the FSANZ Food Standards Code (FSC) Standard 4.2.4 all dairy farms Water are legally are required to develop and Agricultural chemicals implement a documented Food Safety Program (FSP). Core elements of the FSP Fertilisers include: Veterinary chemicals • Control of contaminants – physical, chemical and microbiological Animals • Dairy milking premises Premises and equipment • Hygienic milking • Water supply and quality Milking practices • Cleaning and sanitising Cleaning  • Traceability and records Farm • Personnel competency Milk storage Vendor declarations are required when The milking shed and holding yards are These programs are approved and Skills and knowledge accredited by SDFA before dairy farm animals are sold off farm or purchased from designed and constructed to minimise licences are issued. Approved auditors external sources. animal stress and injury and for the ease of Traceability cleaning. Effluent is disposed carefully to conduct regular audits. All antibiotics and most other veterinary minimise pollution of the environment and NOTES chemicals are only available by prescription 1. In some regions, the regional Catchment Management authority has responsibility for regulation of effluent and run off.  the farm water supplies. 2. State Health Departments have agreed arrangements with State Dairy Food Authorities for implementation of regulation for the farm, transport, manufacture and distribution sectors  through registered veterinarians. Farmers     of the supply chain. must use veterinary medicines in accordance Milk Storage 3. AQIS approves State Dairy Food Authorities as authorised agencies for export regulations. with label directions, observe recommended Milk is quickly cooled after collection from withholding periods for milk and meat and the cow and before storage in a bulk milk All Australian dairy farms are required to keep records of all treatments. vat. FSC Standard 4.2.4 requires milk to have documented food safety programs (FSP). State Dairy Food Authorities Government controls diseases of regional be cooled and stored at temperatures that (SDFAs) approve the FSP before a dairy significance through a range of legislated prevent or minimise the growth of microbial farm licence is granted. Approved programmes under the Livestock Disease hazards in the milk. Current guidelines auditors conduct regular audits of the Control legislation. Welfare standards for require milk to be cooled to 5°C within 3½ farm FSP . animals are legislated by each State. hours from start of milking. All animals are individually identified from Trained personnel service the cooling To support farmers with the management of birth to death. Farmers actively monitor system and milk temperature is checked mastitis, reproduction and animal welfare, the health and well being of animals with at the time of collection. Cleaning and the Australian dairy industry has developed the assistance of registered veterinarians. sanitising procedures for cooling and and conducts numerous extension programs Vendor declarations are required for that address animal health and welfare storage equipment are documented and animals and stockfeed purchased from e.g. Countdown Downunder, Incalf and implemented in accordance with the external sources. farm’s FSP. Risks from agricultural chemicals in CowTime. Risks from agricultural and veterinary feed and water are minimised by the use Milk Harvesting Skilled managers and staff are required chemicals are minimised by ensuring that of chemicals registered by the APVMA with to manage potential food safety risks that only chemicals registered by Australian Skilled staff use modern machine milking farmers following directions for use and may arise from the milk production process. Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines techniques and practices to ensure that recommended withholding periods for milk Information from dairy companies on milk Authority (APVMA) are used on the farm. cows are milked hygienically with minimal and meat. The farmer records the frequency quality and feedback from audits of FSP Label instructions for use and withholding stress. The cows are usually milked twice a and duration of use of chemicals. Vendor assists farm managers to ensure the safety periods for milk and meat are followed. day. Colostrum is segregated from the main declarations are required for feed sourced of milk. The dairy industry supported by Records document the frequency and milk supply. from external sources. educational providers such as National duration of use. Milking equipment is cleaned and sanitised Centre for Dairy Education Australia Trained operators using clean and The health and welfare of the animals ready for the next milking using detergents develops and deliveries specialist programs sanitised equipment milk cows. The milk is is paramount to ensure optimal production. and sanitisers registered by the APVMA. to strengthen farmers’ skills. cooled promptly and stored until collection Although most dairy cattle are bred on the The quality of water used in the dairy is under temperatures to minimise the farm, all livestock must be individually The farm FSP requires comprehensive growth of microbial hazards. monitored to ensure it does not have the identified from birth to death to ensure records to be maintained. These include   potential to contaminate milk. lifetime traceability. In consultation with use of chemicals, animals treated, milk and registered veterinarians, farmers actively Trained technicians supply and maintain meat withhold periods, vendor declarations monitor and treat diseases as required. milking equipment. for incoming and outgoing feed and animals, Treated animals must be clearly identified to milk quality reports, audit results and action ensure segregation of unsuitable milk. taken if problems are identified. page 6 page 7
  6. 6. DAIRY FOOD SAFETY the Australian approach Transport Indicates primary responsibility Domestic market Export market  Partner agencies Indicates secondary responsibility Influences FederaI Influences  State Government Influences  FSANZ APVMA SDFAs SDPIs 1 EPAs  2 SDoH  3 AQIS  SDFAs SDPIs AHA NLIS Milk Traceability NOTES 1. In some regions, the regional Catchment Management authority has responsibility for regulation of effluent and run off.  2. State Health Departments have agreed arrangements with State Dairy Food Authorities for implementation of regulation for the farm, transport, manufacture and distribution sectors      of the supply chain. 3. AQIS approves State Dairy Food Authorities as authorised agencies for export regulations. Milk transport operators must have an In peak season, collection usually occurs approved Food Safety Program (FSP) daily. When production declines, milk and be licensed by the relevant State collections may reduce to a SDFA approved Dairy Food Authority (SDFA). frequency. The temperature and time of transport Prior to milk collection at the farm, tanker is managed to minimise potential food drivers sample milk for testing by the safety risks. company. Typical tests include fat, protein, somatic cell count, microbiological quality All milk transport operators must have a and antibiotic residues. The results of the documented Food Safety Program (FSP) tests are provided to the farmer and used approved by SDFAs. Core elements of the as a basis for payment. If an abnormal FSP include: Transport result, such as positive antibiotic residue • control of food safety hazards during or high somatic cell is detected, the farmer collection and transport from equipment, is promptly notified of the result and vehicles, containers and personnel appropriate action is taken. • product traceability • time and temperature controls • personnel skills and knowledge Prior to unloading at the factory, the manufacturer may check the milk for quality. Typical tests include antibiotic residue and temperature. If a positive residue result is detected, trace-back testing is performed on individual milk samples from each farm supplier so corrective action can be taken. The temperature of milk or product and time of transport is controlled to minimise potential hazards. Tankers are cleaned using Cleaning in Place (CIP) systems with approved chemicals and potable water. Visual inspections of the internal tanker surfaces and swabbing of food contact surfaces may be used to check the effectiveness of cleaning programmes. Information on the origin of and destination of milk supplies is recorded to ensure traceability from farm to manufacturer and from manufacturer to farm if required.   page 8 page 9