Although the World Health Organisation has declared no evidence of COVID-19 transmission by food, dairy businesses are taking action to minimise the risk of infection and spread of the COVID-19 virus between staff members.
Prevention activities include segregating work groups, spacing shift changeovers, introducing enhanced sanitation and hygiene procedures, and closely monitoring contact between staff.
“In terms of the impact on food safety and procedures in the dairy, at milk collection and at factory level, COVID-19 has brought about changes not previously seen, due to the infectivity of COVID-19, and the potential for a confirmed infection to close businesses for days or weeks,” said Geoff Raven, CEO of Dairysafe.
“And businesses have also had to deal with a distinct shift in the market, with a large percentage of the food service market all but disappearing. As with many other businesses and industries, this has necessitated changes to business models on the run.
“The infection statistics show that the changes we’ve made in South Australia are working. But we’re not out of the danger zone. Everyone in the dairy supply chain must continue to practice good hygiene and one of the best ways to prevent infection spread is regular and thorough hand washing.”
It’s important to note that the food safety regulatory framework continues to apply during the COVID-19 incident.
Information on how to manage through the Covid-19 pandemic, and the assistance available, continues to be provided by state and national governments, Food SA, Business SA, and Dairy Australia.
Dairysafe has links to useful information on its website, including links to mental health support, in its Food Safety Toolbox: https://dairy-safe.com.au/food-safety-toolbox/
Dairy Australia has a comprehensive online COVID-19 directory: https://www.dairyaustralia.com.au/about-dairy-australia/about-the-industry/dairy-industry-covid19-directory