Food Safety

Under proAction, Canadian dairy farmers follow specific processes and protocols to reduce risk and prevent food safety hazards on their farms. By following these procedures, farmers meet or exceed stringent safety standards as well as federal and provincial regulations.

All farms are required to implement these measures on their farms, ensuring the safety of our food supply. More than 50 trained validators across Canada work to assess farms and ensure compliance with the program.

Establishing Standard Operating Procedures Around Food Safety

All dairy farmers are required to establish standard operating procedures (SOP) to enhance food safety on their farms. These SOPs include:

  • Milking procedures, which include requirements such as disinfecting teats before milking and discarding abnormal milk;
  • Procedures for treating cattle; and
  • Procedures for transporting cattle

Minimizing the Risk of Accidental Contamination of Milk

Under proAction and other relevant regulations, all pesticides and commercial fertilizers must be labelled and kept away from animals and the milk house. Cleaning products must be stored properly and kept away from cattle and milking equipment.
Water in the barn is tested by independent laboratories every year to ensure it is potable. Third-party professionals inspect milking and cooling equipment wash analyses on every farm each year

Safeguarding Against Harmful Bacteria

To minimize the growth of harmful bacteria, all milk is stored between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius in in stainless steel bulk tanks on farm. More than 70% of farms have a time temperature recorder that sends an alarm to farmers if the milk is not at its proper temperature.

Ensuring the Safe Use of Antibiotics

Dairy farmers take great care to ensure that antibiotics are used prudently and take proactive measures to protect the safety of the milk supply.

  • Farmers have working relationships with veterinarians to help determine best actions for sick animals.
  • Antibiotics are administered only by trained professionals.
  • Prescriptions are documented on-farm in permanent records.
  • Medicine for cows is administered according to the label or as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • All treatments are recorded to respect milk withdrawal times and animals that are sold are kept on the farm until the meat withdrawal times are respected.
  • Treated cows are visually identified so their milk is kept separate.
  • Antibiotics are kept at their proper storage temperature and conditions.
  • In addition, ALL milk is tested for antibiotics before being processed.tibiotics before being processed.
Last updated: 20/12/08

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