A national review of microbiological testing in the dairy industry is occurring, focused on end product testing.

The Microbiological Testing Criteria and Pathogen Manual are historic documents that are due for review. “Dairy regulators have agreed to consolidate the information in one document, such as the FSANZ Compendium of Microbiological Criteria for Food,” said Geoff Raven, CEO of Dairysafe.

“This will require revisions to the dairy chapter and more guidance on actions in relation to non-conformance and sampling plans. Dairy Food Safety Victoria has agreed to progress this work with input from all the dairy regulators and consultation with FSANZ.”

Concurrently, an online microbiological training course is being developed by Safe Food Queensland, in consultation with other dairy regulators. The course is similar to the online Recall training course.

The microbiological training course covers how micro testing fits within a verification program, micro hazards and how testing can verify processing activities, understanding your micro testing plan, implementing a product testing procedure, and how to interpret your micro results.

“This is an essential course for all dairy processors and we encourage you to explore it when it’s launched,” Geoff said.  “It’s interactive and flexible in that you can start and stop and restart when it suits you.”

Details of the course will be circulated once they become available.

On a local note, recent updates to Salmonella and Listeria testing are providing a reduction in testing times and associated costs. For further information, contact your laboratory.