Several recent liquid dairy product trade withdrawals and consumer level recalls in Australia are a reminder to businesses to remain vigilant that dairy products are appropriately prepared, handled and stored.

Elements within your Food Safety Program that benefit from regular review include:

Staff personal hygiene

All food businesses and handlers have responsibilities to ensure that food is not contaminated by personal hygiene or health. More information is provided here.

Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOPs)

How you keep your operation clean throughout the day and how it is cleaned at the end of processing is an essential part of your Food Safety Program. This includes cleaning and sanitation procedures for plant and equipment throughout all stages of production, water temperature, cleaning chemical selection and chemical concentration.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs)

These underpin your Food Safety Program. They are the procedures and equipment necessary for manufacturing, packaging and storage of food to ensure it is safe and suitable. This includes:

  • Receiving and storing raw materials. When raw materials and ingredients are received, they need to be inspected for wholesomeness and specifications such as temperatures. When accepted, raw materials should be moved to storage or directed to processing, and:
    • Maintained at appropriate temperatures for safety and quality.
    • Protected against contamination or damage.
    • Stored in their own, or in clean, containers on racks or shelves to ensure no contact with the floor.
    • Rotated on a first-in-first-out basis.
  • Receiving and storing packaging material. Packaging must be stored in a dust and vermin proof room. Consider how material is transported to and from processing areas, how material is stored when opened and the potential effect of aerosols from the environment when cleaning commences.
  • Establishment of process workflow. Controlling the flow of people, materials, products and waste will assist in maintaining hygienic conditions, reducing potential cross contamination, efficient cleaning and sanitation.
  • Pest control. An effective pest management program is essential to reduce the risk of harmful bacteria from rodents and insects that can contaminate food, processing and storage environments.
  • Maintenance of plant and equipment (including amenities and ablutions). Maintenance is a critical factor in safe food production. Plant and equipment that is not maintained in good condition or repair is a risk.