Dairy hygiene inspections
Thursday 16 December 2010
Dairy hygiene inspections help to protect the nation's raw milk supply from the risk of contamination by bacteria and other substances, some of which are potentially harmful. Our aim is to ensure a satisfactory standard of hygiene is maintained on all dairy farms.
In England and Wales, Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency inspectors act on behalf of the Food Standards Agency to:
- inspect milking premises, equipment and milk-producing animals
- enforce satisfactory standards
Inspectors enforce parts of Regulations (EC) Nos 852/2004, 853/2004, 854/2004 and The Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 and Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 as amended. These regulations apply to all premises used for the production of raw milk for human consumption and involves the registration of approved production premises (dairy farms), inspection of milking premises, equipment and milk-producing animals, and enforcing satisfactory standards.
The Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency inspectors also supervise a sampling programme of raw drinking milk, which is carried out on behalf of the FSA by Eclipse Scientific Group in England and Wales.
In Scotland official dairy hygiene inspection is carried out by 32 individual local authorities and in Northern Ireland by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Quality Assurance Branch.
Different delivery mechanisms across the UK can mean that similar farms in different parts of the country are subject to different inspection frequencies.
Additional checks are carried out on farms that are members of the Assured Dairy Farmer scheme (a Red Tractor assurance scheme). In the UK, there are approximately 12,000 holdings that are audited every 18 months against the Assured Dairy Farm Scheme standards. The inspection frequencies in England and Wales reflect, where appropriate, membership of the Assured Dairy Farm Scheme. In Northern Ireland, the new inspection system will be phased in over two years.
Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (formerly the Animal Health – Dairy Hygiene) has produced a guide to The Food (Hygiene) (England) Regulations 2006 and the Food (Hygiene) (Wales) Regulations 2006, incorporating Regulations (EC) Nos 852/2004, 853/2004, 854/2004.
The guide, and a Welsh language version, can be found at the link below to the Animal Health website.
Further information on dairy hygiene can be found at the links below.