All Australian dairy farms are required to have documented food safety programs (FSP). State Dairy Food Authorities (SDFAs) approve the FSP before a dairy farm licence is granted. Approved auditors conduct regular audits of the farm FSP.
Core elements of the FSP include:
• Control of contaminants – physical, chemical and microbiological
• Dairy milking premises
• Hygienic milking
• Water supply and quality
• Cleaning and sanitising
• Traceability and records
• Personnel competency
All animals are individually identified from birth to death. Farmers actively monitor the health and well being of animals with the assistance of registered veterinarians.
Vendor declarations are required for animals and stockfeed purchased from external sources.
Risks from agricultural, veterinary and cleaning chemicals are minimised by using only chemicals registered by Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). Instructions for use and withholding periods for milk and meat are described on the label.
Trained operators use clean and sanitised equipment to milk cows with minimal stress. Water used for cleaning is monitored to ensure it will not contaminate the milk. Milk is cooled promptly and stored until collection under temperatures to minimise the growth of microbial hazards.
Comprehensive records are maintained of key parts of the farm food safety program including use of chemicals, audit results and action taken if deviations are detected.