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NCIMS to Review Proposed Revisions to Grade A Plant and Farm Rules

Mar 16, 2009

The National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS) will consider 133 proposals to change Grade A plant and farm regulations in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) at its biennial meeting, April 17-22, in Orlando, Fla. These proposals affect all dairy plants producing Grade A products, such as fluid milk, cream products, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggnog, buttermilk and many dried dairy products. Several are designed to provide more flexibility for dairy processors, while others could increase plant operating costs without improving product safety.

"We encourage our dairy industry partners, state regulators and Food and Drug Administration officials to work together to find common ground for solutions that will be acceptable to all," said Allen Sayler, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.

Cary Frye, IDFA vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs and this year’s NCIMS program committee chair, agrees. "That's the best way to continue to provide consumers with a safe supply of milk and milk products, without stifling product innovation or imposing overly burdensome requirements on industry," she said.

The Milk Industry Foundation has submitted 10 proposals this year for consideration, and a delegation of MIF members will attend the April meeting along with IDFA staff.

One MIF proposal would clarify the definition of Grade A to allow non-standard milk and milk products containing non-Grade A functional ingredients as long as 85 percent of the products' ingredients are Grade A. Another would modify the current enforcement rating for NCIMS plants to be consistent with the voluntary NCIMS HACCP program. MIF also proposes to expand the use of open tower water for indirect cooling of dairy products and to allow voluntary "keep refrigerated" statements on aseptically processed milk and milk products.

Approximately 15 proposals deal with increasing the testing requirements for pasteurization equipment, some of which IDFA does not support. IDFA also plans to oppose a proposal to legalize the interstate sale of raw milk for human consumption.

To register for the conference, click here.

For more information, contact Sayler at (202) 220-3544 or asayler@idfa.org or Frye at (202) 220-3543 or cfrye@idfa.org.

 

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