Prior to despatch to customers, finished product is stored in warehouses operated by the dairy company or by external contractors.
The effective implementation of a Food Safety Program (FSP) is required for all warehouses that are licensed by State Dairy Food Authorities (SDFAs). Warehouses used for export product need to be registered by the Department of Agriculture (DoA).
Key elements of the FSP are:
• prevention or control of potential hazards to food safety
• identification and thus traceability of product.
In addition the warehouse must have a Product Recall system based upon the FSANZ Food Industry Recall Protocol.
Prior to loading of product, the cleanliness of the interior of transport vehicles and shipping containers is checked. Where required, product temperature is checked at loading and monitored throughout the distribution chain.
Transporters of bulk product between dairy manufacturing plants intended for further processing are required to have a FSP conforming to the requirements of FSC Standard 4.2.4.
Containers destined for export are sealed and appropriate documentation is completed prior to shipping. Companies use the DoA ExDoc electronic system for certification of dairy exports.
Auditors approved by regulatory agencies including DoA conduct audits of the warehouse FSP. Australian and international customers also conduct audits on all or part of a warehouse’s quality assurance program.