The on-farm food safety program (formerly the Canadian Quality Milk, or CQM program) uses a science-based, preventative approach, internationally known as HACCP. This program helps farmers prevent and reduce food safety risks and hazards on their farms.
The food safety program was recognized by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in May 2015 for promoting the consistent application of management practices and improving food safety management on Canadian dairy farms.
Canadian dairy farmers must manage these critical control points (CCPs) in order to minimize food safety risks: milking management, cooling & storage of milk, and shipping animals. In addition to CCPs, there are eight categories of best management practices (BMP). The requirements listed below are annually validated through self-declaration or through an independent validator.
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Dairy Facilities and Pesticides
Food Safety: Licensed dairy farm: Is your farm currently licensed to ship milk by the provincial regulatory authority?
Do you only use pesticides registered for use in the: milk house? barn? fields?
Do you use registered pesticides according to the label and follow pre-harvest intervals to harvest or grazing?
Do you store pesticides, treated seed and fertilizer in a safe and secure manner and according to provincial dairy regulations? (concerned with both cow & milk exposure)
Is any hose connected to the milk house or barn water system used for filling pesticide sprayers or containers? If yes, do you have an anti-backflow device?
Do your animal husbandry, manure and waste management systems ensure the cleanliness of lactating cattle’s udders, legs and flanks?
Do you restrict cattle access to manure storage or manure run-off?
At the time of milk pick-up, is the lane-way and loading area free of manure contamination?
If you use sewage sludge, do you have the necessary approval/permits required to use sewage sludge on your farm?
Feed and Water
Do you use medicated feed? If yes: have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for feeding medicated feeds?
Do you receive medicated feeds with milk or meat withdrawals or that are prohibited for use in lactating cattle? If yes, are feed bins and storage containers clearly marked for those who deliver the feed and for those that use it?
Do you have pet foods on your farm or feeds that are labeled not for use for ruminants? (i.e. clearly labelled with the warning: Feeding this product to cattle, sheep, deer or other ruminants is illegal and is subject to fines or other punishment under the Health of Animals Act.) If yes, do you store and handle those feeds to avoid feeding those feeds to cattle or cross-contaminating feeds for cattle?
Do you identify all cattle to allow for the maintenance of treatment records (e.g. barn tags, neck chains, etc.), if you do not use approved dairy tags (DairyTrace (NLID) / Attestra) for management purposes?
Biosecurity and Animal Health
Do you have a Cattle Health Declaration signed by your veterinarian annually and the most recent version kept on file?
Medicines and Chemicals used on Livestock
Do you maintain a list of all medicines and chemicals that you use on livestock?
Do you store and handle livestock medicines and chemicals:
a) (including syringes and needles) in a clean and sanitary manner, in a dedicated place, according to label directions?
b) In a manner that will not contaminate: milk? Meat? Feeds?
c) For non-lactating and lactating dairy cattle, and products not intended for dairy cattle in separate areas or cupboards?
Do you use only livestock medicines (including medicated foot- baths):
- Approved in Canada for use in dairy cattle?
- According to the label?
- According to written veterinary directions, which must be available for every treatment administered not according to the label and for every veterinary drug used that is not approved for use in Canada?
Do you check for and record the identity of any animal and treatment site whose treatment resulted in an irretrievable broken needle?
Do you mark all treated cattle in the milking herd that have milk withdrawals (e.g. leg bands)? Specify type:
Do you maintain a permanent written record of all medicines and chemicals used on livestock that have a milk or meat withdrawal?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for treating cattle?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for pre-milking?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for milking?
Do you ensure that all teats are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized and dried (e.g. manure and teat dips removed) before milking, using approved products?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure to minimize the risk of shipping abnormal milk?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure to minimize the risk of shipping milk from treated cattle?
Do you test milk from new animals for inhibitors before shipping their milk, not ship the milk unless the
results are negative and record the results? (Record 10) Or do you have a letter of guarantee from the previous owner?
Cooling and Storage of Milk
Is the bulk tank temperature recorded and checked after every milking for each bulk tank?
Facility and Equipment Sanitation
Do you use approved cleaning products according to the accessible milk house cleaning and sanitizing chart?
Do you regularly inspect and record the cleanliness of milking equipment or each washing
system, including checking and recording the temperature of the hot water from the tap or wash water,
at least monthly?
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for post-milking system cleaning?
Do you have each wash system evaluated annually by an industry professional and have the deficiencies been corrected?
Is the milk house used exclusively for cooling and storing milk and for cleaning, sanitizing, and storing materials and equipment used in the production and handling of milk?
Are cleaning chemicals stored in a location and manner that will not contaminate milk?
Are the milk house & external surfaces of the milking and milk storage equipment kept clean?
Do you have a functioning safety switch or failsafe system in place to avoid accidental entry of wash water into the tank?
Have you removed all mercury thermometers and vacuum columns from the milk house?
Do all lights near the bulk tank opening have a protective covering or do the bulbs have a protective safety coating?
Use of Water for Cleaning Milk Contact Surfaces
- Annually test the water used for milking equipment sanitation for the microbiological parameters determined by the provincial health authority?
- Ensure the water meets the microbiological parameters?
- Keep or record the water test results?
Handling and Shipping Animals
Have you established and implemented a Standard Operating Procedure for shipping cattle?
Staff Training and Communication
- Regularly train staff to implement your proAction program?
- Train new staff to implement your proAction program?
- Ensure staff have access to Standard Operating Procedures, corrective action plans and records that you have developed and maintained?
Do you have a written corrective action plan on how to communicate and address:
- Incorrect administration of medications or other chemicals to an animal (BMP)?
- Entry of milk from a treated animal into the bulk milk tank (CCP)?
- Improperly cooled or stored milk (CCP)?
- Dirty milk contact surfaces (BMP)?
- Improper water temperature (BMP)?
- Milking equipment water contaminated with bacteria (BMP)?
- Sale of a treated animal or an animal with a broken needle and the next buyer was not informed (CCP)?
Fact Sheets – Animal Health Product Information
|Food Safety||October 2021||PDF (1.5 MB)||Download|
|Veterinary Natural Health Products||April 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Veterinary Drugs Requirements Summary||April 2017||PDF (0.8 MB)||Download|
|List of Approved Teat Dips, Wipes, and Udder Washes||July 2019||PDF (0.2 MB)||Download|
|Organic Production & Food Safety||March 2017||PDF (0.3 MB)||Download|
|Veterinarians and the Food Safety Program||April 2017||PDF (0.3 MB)||Download|
|Treated Wood & Dioxins||April 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Dairy Beef||April 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Letter of Guarantee for Purchased Cattle||March 2017||PDF (0.3 MB)||Download|
Fact Sheets – Equipment Sanitation Information
|Water Testing||April 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Cold-Water Wash||March 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Annual Wash System Evaluation||August 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Automatic Milking Systems||April 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Milk and Meat Quality and Safety Troubleshooting Guides||June 2018||PDF (0.6 MB)||Download|
Fact Sheets – Recording Technology Information
|Time Temperature Recorders (TTRs)||November 2022||PDF (0.2 MB)||Download|
|TTR Data||March 2017||PDF (0.3 MB)||Download|
|TTR Review Process||March 2017||PDF (0.3 MB)||Download|
|Fact Sheet: Computer Programs and the Food Safety program Records||March 2017||PDF (0.4 MB)||Download|
|Information for Equipment Dealers on Equipment Sanitation Requirements||August 2017||PDF (0.5 MB)||Download|