Dairy Establishment Inspection Manual – Chapter 1 - Program Description

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1.1 Program Objective

To evaluate the control programs, equipment, good manufacturing practices and environmental conditions of dairy plants in order to assess their capability to produce safe and wholesome products.

Some of the specific program goals include:

  • To ensure that dairy products are processed under safe and sanitary conditions by identifying and requiring resolution to health and safety risks.
  • To measure the degree of regulatory compliance of dairy establishments.
  • To establish uniform procedures and national standards for plant inspection.
  • To minimize duplication of inspection activities between government departments.

1.2 Program Emphasis

Various government reports have stressed the importance of food safety and quality.

  • Industry is responsible for the safety and quality of food products offered for sale.
  • Government oversees the fulfilment by industry of their responsibilities through inspection programs.

The program design incorporates the concept of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) approach. In other words, greater emphasis is placed on monitoring critical processing steps and overall control systems to prevent problems.

To further promote this approach, industry is encouraged to participate in the inspection activity with the government inspection team as well as to independently conduct inspections, within their own organization.

Ultimately, it is hoped that industry will use this program as one of many verification tools to evaluate their control systems.

1.3 History

Since 1970, a dairy plant inspection program has been nationally implemented by federal and/or provincial government authorities. It has been successful in improving the overall conditions in dairy plants.

After almost 20 years without major program revisions, a Steering Committee was tasked to thoroughly review and evaluate this program. The current Steering Committee, which is responsible to provide direction to this program, consists of representatives from industry, provincial agriculture departments, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

It was agreed that the program needed to be re-designed to:

  • clearly emphasize health and safety concerns
  • be simple, and effective in meeting program goals, and
  • incorporate new evaluation parameters to avoid comparisons with the previous program.

In this format, critical problems will be highlighted and resources will be focussed on areas representing the greatest risk to product safety.

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