Food Safety

Canadian dairy farmers work to prevent and reduce food safety hazards, and risks on their farms, demonstrating that Canadian milk and meat are produced in a safe manner.



All farms will be registered on Canadian Quality Milk program by fall 2015

  • 99% of farms are registered in 2016.
  • 76 validators assess farms to ensure compliance to requirements 

Dairy farmers minimize risk of accidental contamination of milk 

  • Pesticides and commercial fertilizers are labelled, and kept away from animals, and the milk house
  • Cleaning products are stored properly and away from cattle, and milking equipment
  • Water in the barn is tested in independent laboratories every year to ensure it is potable
  • Third party professionals inspect milking, and cooling equipment wash analyses on every farm each year

Milk is kept cold to minimize bacteria growth

  • Milk is kept cold in stainless steel bulk tanks on farm - between 1 and 4 degrees Celsius
  • 70% of farms have a time temperature recorder that sends an alarm to farmers if the milk is not at its proper temperature

All dairy farmers have standard operating procedures (SOP) that enhance food safety on their farm

  • Dairy farmers commonly wear gloves to milk cows
  • Dairy farmers disinfect teats before milking
  • Dairy farmers visually check the milk before milking
  • A sanitizing teat dip is applied after milking to protect udder health

Dairy farmers make responsible use of antibiotics

  • Medicine for cows is used according to the label / as prescribed by veterinarians
  • All treatments are recorded to respect milk or meat withdrawals
  • Prescriptions are documented on-farm in permanent records
  • Treated cows are visually identified so their milk is kept separate
  • Antibiotics are kept at their proper storage temperature
  • Antibiotics are administered only by trained people
  • Animals are kept on the farm until the meat withdrawal times are respected

Milk is tested to ensure there is no residue before it can be sold

  • Each time they pick up milk, truck drivers (expert graders) sample the milk for testing in registered laboratories
  • All milk is tested for several antibiotics before it is unloaded at the processing plant
  • In the rare case that milk tests positive for antibiotic residue, the whole truck load is discarded. The farm at fault has to pay for the load, plus a heavy fine
Last updated: 15/04/2016

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