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Dairy Facts 2016

FDA Sampling Assignments Continue in 2016

Jun 22, 2016
Monica Metz, Chief, Dairy Branch, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA

The final session of IDFA’s Regulatory RoundUP last week focused on the Food and Drug Administration’s priorities in ongoing and upcoming sampling assignments involving dairy products. Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella are the priority areas for assignments covering cheeses, milk powders, ice cream and assorted products sampled for chemical contaminants, according to Monica Metz, who works in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition as chief of the dairy branch.

Metz provided an overview of five sampling assignments:

  • The raw milk cheese assignment, which collected 1606 samples of domestic and imported semi-soft and soft raw milk cheeses, is now complete. The release of the final report is pending.  
  • Another cheese assignment, covering Mexican and Central American style cheeses, is ongoing. FDA has completed 31 of the planned 50 inspections of domestic manufacturers to evaluate the potential for Listeria monocytogenes. So far none of the samples have tested positive.
  • With the ongoing assignment to sample milk powders processed from whole milk, skimmed milk or whey, FDA has targeted 20 companies to determine the prevalence and location of Salmonella spp. in their manufacturing environments. The assignment will assess the ability of each company to prevent cross contamination and determine whether the monitoring, sanitation and manufacturing procedures are sufficient.
  • A sampling assignment for ice cream will begin later this year among 100 ice cream and novelty manufacturing plants. FDA will test for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella and evaluate whether each company has sufficient procedures in place to prevent cross contamination and ensure food safety.
  • As part of its ongoing assignment to comply with the European Union’s residue audit, FDA plans to sample 320 retail milk products for various drug residues, pesticides, aflatoxins and heavy metals.

FDA currently does not have plans for any sampling assignments in 2017, Metz said.

For more information, contact John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards, at

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