Alternative process to pasteurisation
DFSV statement regarding media coverage of alternative process to pasteurisation for extended shelf life milk
- Dairy Food Safety Victoria (DFSV) is aware of recent media coverage concerning Queensland company, Naturo, patenting an alternative process to pasteurisation that can extend shelf life of milk.
- DFSV wishes to clarify that it has not approved this process to be undertaken in any commercial manufacturing facility in Victoria.
- Naturo has undertaken a validation process in Victoria and DFSV was asked to review the data collected during this validation process.
- As a result of this review, DFSV accepts that the technology developed using the process described in the validation report may be used as an alternative treatment to pasteurisation for raw milk.
Background to DFSV approval process for licencing of dairy businesses
- Pasteurisation represents the principal process for rendering dairy products safe for consumption. The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) provides for equivalence to pasteurisation for the purposes of processing raw milk i.e. milk must be pasteurised by pasteurisation or using any other process that provides an equivalent or greater lethal effect on any pathogenic microorganisms.
- Any claims for equivalence made under the Code must be validated to demonstrate that any novel approach provides an equivalent or greater outcome than the accepted standard of pasteurisation. Validation involves obtaining evidence that a control measure or combination of control measures, if properly implemented, can control the hazard to achieve the specified outcome.
- To commence operating a dairy business in Victoria you must hold a current and valid dairy industry licence with DFSV. In order to be issued a dairy industry licence, a dairy business needs to develop a documented food safety program that demonstrates compliance with the Code, specifically Standard 4.2.4 Primary Production and Processing Standard for Dairy Products.
- Additionally, a dairy business must also ensure that premises and/or vehicles comply with the relevant sections of the Code.
- As part of the licence approval process, DFSV conducts an assessment of these elements to ensure that the business’ legislative responsibilities for ensuring food safety are appropriately addressed.
- When DFSV is satisfied that the food safety program and premises are appropriate for operating and the business has the requisite skills and competency, a licence will be issued.