making a difference for dairy

Plant Operations

American dairy products are among the safest in the world.

Dairy manufacturing plants must meet stringent federal, state and local regulations, including those developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and state regulatory agencies.  Effective food safety procedures are used throughout the manufacturing process.

Food safety controls begin with the receipt of milk, cream and other ingredients. Typically, dairy ingredients are sampled and tested for animal drug residues, total bacteria count, temperature and composition. For non-dairy ingredients, most plants require that a Certificate of Analysis (COA) be provided with each shipment to document compliance with ingredient specifications. Any ingredient that does not meet a plant's specifications is rejected and returned to the supplier.

To ensure that dairy products are safe and of the highest quality, the majority of dairy food manufacturers use a plant-wide Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point plan, known throughout the food industry as HACCP. This includes good manufacturing practices, preventative maintenance programs for processing equipment, standard operating procedures and other food safety and quality programs. In addition, many plants use a strong on-going Good Manufacturing Practices program that is based on FDA’s requirements for food processing plants.

Resource Materials

Dairy Facts 2016