The Dairysafe team has been busy completing farm audits – 76 farm audits were completed up to the end of June, with audit outcomes indicating SA farmers continue to deliver outstanding food safety and quality trends.

Dairysafe has investigated and managed seven antibiotic residue incidents involving raw milk as notified by accredited processors (year-to-date). These incidents occurred in tankers and silos demonstrating the necessity for extra vigilance on farm when milking treated stock. The early reporting and disposal of affected raw milk confirms management arrangements at processor level are effective.

From the 51 dairy processor audits (to June 30), there have been nine minor and 17 major non-conformances issued, with non-conformance trends indicating additional focus needed in areas such as:

  • Good Hygienic Practices (GHP)
  • Cleaning and sanitation
  • Maintenance Programs
  • Documentation
  • Water testing
  • Export arrangements (for export registered businesses)

Trending outcomes from processor audits has identified resource management as a key area of concern. Food safety must not be compromised in times of limited resources. As COVID and staff shortages continue to play a role in day-to-day operations, businesses must be able to demonstrate appropriate process controls are maintained. Ensuring premise hygiene and construction standards do not jeopardize food safety and quality outcomes is not negotiable.

Dairysafe managed 17 incidents and two complaints for the April to June quarter.

Overall food safety outcomes for the SA dairy sector this year are very positive with no SA dairy products with pathogens at retail level, no antibiotic residue in finished dairy products, no consumer level recalls involving SA dairy and no foodborne illness associated with SA dairy products.

Dairysafe also continues to deliver export audits on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (DAFF) and by 30 June we had completed the first round audits of the 15 export registered dairy processors.

Dairysafe’s commitment to DAFF and export processors doesn’t stop with audit responsibility. Dairysafe has been working collaboratively with exporters to assist and provide support where needed. This has included navigating approval and notification processes of variations to approved arrangements and establishments, ensuring suitable hazard analysis has been undertaken, and appropriate controls implemented, while providing support and verification to DAFF for consideration and final approval of each variation.