Dairysafe is required to ensure all accredited dairy farms have a food safety arrangement in place, and that we verify (by audit) compliance by the dairy farm with the requirements of the food safety program.

A dairy farm’s food safety arrangement includes the following:

  • That the activities under the accreditation comply with the requirements of Standard 4.2.4 of the Food Standards Code applicable to dairy farms;
  • That the farm has implemented an approved food safety program (approved by Dairysafe) which:
    • Provides and monitors controls for identified hazards
    • Includes pre-requisite programs – hygiene and sanitation
    • Supports programs such as pest control and calibration, training, maintenance
    • Ensure milk cooling and storage complies with accepted standards
    • Maintain a system that manages herd health
    • includes traceability for inputs, animals and milk produced
  • That milk is transported by an accredited business; and
  • That milk is only supplied to an accredited business.

Dairy farm audits

QCONZ is a Dairysafe approved provider of dairy farm food safety audits. In 2020 QCONZ will complete around two thirds of dairy farm audits on behalf of Dairysafe while Dairysafe staff will complete the other third.

Dairysafe would like to offer the opportunity to processor field officers to accompany Dairysafe staff during one or more audits during 2020 to facilitate a good appreciation of the regulatory audit process.

Audits are arranged directly with the accredited business, normally through the designated contact person identified on the farm’s annual return. Cancelling an arranged audit costs money, and Dairysafe will recover any out of pocket expenses associated with audits that are cancelled in the week leading up to the pre-agreed appointment.

Managing major non-conformances

Major non-conformances identified during an audit must be corrected within a 30-day timeframe while some, e.g., hygiene related, may require quicker attention. A major non-conformance occurs where an issue is likely to compromise food safety and suitability if no remedial action is taken to correct the non-conformance.

Dairysafe staff verify and close out all major non-conformances. If the major non-conformance isn’t corrected to a satisfactory level, Dairysafe can apply other sanctions to achieve compliance which may include additional audits at the cost of the business, or in the worst-case expiation, prosecution, suspension or cancellation of accreditation.

Correction of minor non-conformances at dairy farms is verified at the next scheduled audit.

The non-conformances that dominated during 2019 dairy farm audits included milk cooling rate; thermometer calibration; feed vendor declarations; dairy hygiene; milking machine testing; record of chemical spray withholding period; and wash-up procedure for milking machine/storage.

Confidentiality of audit findings

Dairysafe is bound by strict confidentiality, which means we can’t supply audit reports or details of audit findings to other parties. Audit reports remain the property of the accredited business. Dairysafe won’t share those details unless the business provides Dairysafe with permission to do so.