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Food Safety

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) under its Standard 4.2.4 requires all dairy farms to have a documented on-farm food safety program. All dairy manufacturers and processors must also have a documented food safety program.

State Regulatory Authorities (SRAs) implement the FSANZ standards. This approach to whole-chain food safety reflects:

  • International requirements under Codex (Code of Hygienic Practice for Milk and Milk Products)
  • National requirements by FSANZ
  • State-wide requirements by the Dairy Regulatory Authorities

Dairy food safety in practice

Dairy farms must implement a HACCP-based quality assurance program to ensure:

  • They gain a licence to operate from their State Regulatory Authority
  • Their milk is accepted by their manufacturer

The quality assurance program covers areas such as:

  • Food safety
  • Animal welfare
  • Chemical contamination, and
  • Environmental responsibilities

Regular auditing ensures dairy farmers assess food safety risks and ensure strategies are in place to deal with the risks, which includes full traceability up and down the input chain.


The relationship between Australian dairy companies and their domestic and international markets has been developed over years through close communication with customers and consistent delivery of safe, quality dairy products.

Retail or ingredient customers within Australia and overseas apply rigorous buying specifications. Typical buying specifications include product specification, transport conditions and the buyers’ expectations of the quality assurance approach.

Competent authorities within federal and state regulatory agencies underpin the national approach to food safety and quality.

The FSANZ Food Standards Code covers all food products either manufactured within Australia or imported. All manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and importers of food are required to have in place a written recall plan modelled upon the FSANZ Product Recall Protocol.

Under Australia’s export legislation and importing country requirements, the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) is the competent authority for export inspection and certification. Export regulations cover many requirements including the importing country’s food safety requirements, product standards, biosecurity, quarantine standards and traceability.

Ongoing discussions occur between DAWE, federal and state regulators and industry to ensure maximum harmonisation of export and domestic requirements. Industry and regulators have established a valuable co-regulatory approach.

Food Safety Program for Warehousing

An overview of the key elements of a food safety program for distributors and the steps taken by distributors to ensure fo…

Food Safety Program for Transport

The key requirements of food safety programs for milk transport operators and the steps transport operators take pre and post-milk collection to ensure these requirements are met.

Food Safety Program for Manufacturing

A summary of the core elements required from a …

Food Safety Program for Farmers

A summary of what is required from dairy farms in a farm food safety program and the steps farmers take to ensure any food safety risks are minimised on-farm.

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