Having completed another year of audits we can look back at results to identify the trends and where to focus attention to improve food safety outcomes.

Over the course of 2020 the key non-compliance areas per sector included:

  • Dairy Farms: monitoring the hygiene of milking plants; dairy premises condition; feed vendor declarations; servicing milking equipment; calibration of thermometers; pest control; milk cooling rate; storage; and records.
  • Dairy Processors: GMP audits and records; house keeping and GMP audits; reference thermometer; procedures; mock recalls and review; potable water testing; and storage of non-dairy high-risk ingredients.

Non-conformance rates reduced significantly in 2019 in comparison with 2018.

And at the end of 2020, the minor non-conformance rate was lower than in 2019 (1.11 minor non-conformances per audit in 2020 compared to 1.84 per audit in 2019).

The major non-conformance rate in 2020 was slightly improved on 2019 (0.13 major non-conformances per audit in 2020 compared to 0.14 in 2019).

The 2020 figures compare extremely favourably with the 2018 non-conformance levels which were 4.38 minor non-conformances per audit, and 1.08 major non-conformances per audit.

All major non-conformances raised during 2020 audits were corrected by the respective businesses within the specified 30 day period.

“It’s clear from these audits trends that significant improvement has been made at dairy businesses in relation to food safety over the past three years, which is very pleasing to see,” said Geoff Raven, CEO of Dairysafe.

Dairysafe auditors will have a particular focus in 2021 on farm and dairy hygiene and milk cooling rate, while processor audits will focus closely on listeria management arrangements, e.g., post pasteurisation GMP, GHP and environmental monitoring.