Food Safety and Traceability Guidance Documents

Guidance Documents for the Dairy Industry

The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has developed food safety guidance documents for the dairy industry. All these guides were prepared for the dairy industry by the dairy industry, leveraging industry subject matter experts. They are intended to build knowledge and communicate best practices on a wide spectrum of food safety topics for a wide spectrum of food safety practitioners: hourly employees, engineers, quality professionals, senior staff, contractors, suppliers and more. 

Pathogen Control Guidance

“Controlling Pathogens in Dairy Processing Environments Guidance: Guidance for the U.S. Dairy Industry” provides best practices for controlling Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Cronobacter sakazakii and builds upon “Control of Listeria monocytogenes: Guidance for the U.S. Dairy Industry” that was issued in 2016. The “Control of Listeria monocytogenes: Guidance for the U.S. Dairy Industry” focuses on best practices for controlling Listeria monocytogenes. Both guidance documents follow a simple graphic to share knowledge and help establish effective pathogen controls in a dairy manufacturing facility. The “Control of Listeria monocytogenes: Guidance for the U.S. Dairy Industry” is also available in a Spanish-language version.

Pathogen Control Guidance Document for U.S. Dairy

Guidance Document for the Control of Listeria in Dairy Products

Control De Listeria Monocytogenes Guía Para La Industria Láctea De EE. UU

Framework for Establishing ‘Hygienic Separation’ in Continuous Dairy Powder Systems

This document provides guidance to manufacturers of dairy powders in the event of a pathogen positive event. Continuous dairy drying systems can produce a large quantity of product within a short timeframe which can lead to large amounts of product being implicated if a pathogen is detected in the finished product. This guidance document goes beyond the historical view of “clean breaks” to provide a framework for investigating potential hygienic separation points, which may help reduce the amount of implicated product. The document summarizes the components to include in any investigation, and also includes a case study and root cause investigation template. Each scenario is unique, and the effectiveness of the food safety based programs in place, the data available, and the ability to identify the root cause will all be factors in the evaluation.  This is a tool to help with prevention and guide decision making, but ultimately any decisions must be made by and are the responsibility of the company.

Framework for Establishing ‘Hygienic Separation’ in Continuous Dairy Powder Systems

New! Dairy Brine Food Safety Best Practices

Because brine systems come in direct contact with product, it is important to make sure they don’t become a food safety issue. The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy worked with experts with extensive brine cheese experience to identify food safety best practices.  This guidance document focuses on these elements of brine management, with an emphasis on microbiological controls.

Dairy Brine Food Safety Best Practices

U.S. Dairy Traceability Guidance

The Innovation Center made improving traceability a priority in its 2009 Globalization Report because it is an important factor in dairy trade. Now more than 80% of the U.S. milk supply is covered by these voluntary dairy traceability guidelines, thanks to the pledge of 26 dairy processors.

This guidance document and checklist contains information and guidance needed to implement traceability standards at your company. It will guide you through a process of comparing your current practices to a set of minimum standards for traceability, and identifying any areas that may need improvement. Some of the areas detailed include:

  • Record keeping
  • Data collection—Lot Numbers, ingredient information
  • Lot separation
  • Efficacy of traceability protocol for verification on content of final product
  • Testing and validation of traceability in mock recall

The Traceability Guidance is part of the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment, a voluntary pledge through which the U.S. dairy community can document and demonstrate its progress to consumers, customers and other stakeholders. Companies that adopt the U.S. Dairy Stewardship Commitment meet defined criteria for important areas like animal care, the environment, food safety and traceability and other important initiatives to report on impact in a transparent and meaningful way.

Learn more about how to implement the Dairy Traceability Guidance

USDEC Blog on the industry’s commitment to traceability

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