Hygiene Regulations for Milk Industry Published

Department of Health

The department of health has published regulations relating to hygiene requirements for milking sheds, the transport of milk and related matters in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act (1972).

Notice 961 in Government Gazette 35905 of 23 November 2012 outlines the regulations affecting the production of milk and transportation including responsibilities of milk producers, workers and transporters.

The regulations include the standards and requirements for milking sheds; their facilities, certification, inspection, structure and operation; including the following:

•    That the production of milk for human consumption is prohibited except in an approved milking shed.
•    The provisions shall not be applicable to a milking shed in which milk is produced solely for own use.
•    The owner or possessor of an existing milking shed that is not compliant with the regulations will be ordered to remove any milk for human consumption from the milking shed until the hazard or situation has been rectified.
•    A certificate of acceptability in respect of a milking shed should be applied for from the local authority in whose area of jurisdiction the milking shed is situated.
•    A local authority shall not consider an application for the issue of the certificate of acceptability unless a full inspection of the premises concerned has been carried out.
•    The certificate of acceptability shall not be transferable from one person to another person or from one milking shed to another milking shed.
•    The milking shed and the dairy stock may be inspected or examined by an inspector at any reasonable time.

The regulations also include the following provisions:

•    Standards and requirements for milk containers, bulk farm tanks, milk tankers and milking machine materials; including their construction, cleaning and use.
•    The handling of milk – packing, storage temperature and sampling procedures.
•    Health status of dairy stock – marking, disease register and routine veterinarian examinations.
•    Personnel hygiene, clothing, training and health of milk workers – including requirements for personal hygiene facilities and personal/food hygiene training.
•    Standards and requirements for the transport of milk including the duties of the driver in terms of testing the milk and maintaining proper health standards for the milk containers.

These regulations shall come into operation on the date of publication of these regulations, 23 November 2012; except the following requirements which will be effective from 12 months of publication:

•    Requirements for personal and food hygiene training of milk production staff.
•    Requirements for the holder of a certificate of acceptability for a milking shed to undergo training on food safety and hygiene aspects of the production and handling of milk.
•    Record keeping of above training.

Sabinet Cape Town Office