Testing programs

28 January 2016

The Product Surveillance Program monitors the safety and quality of dairy products manufactured in Victoria. The AMRA survey is designed to verify the effectiveness of residue control in the milk supply.

DFSV has operated a testing program since 2006 to monitor the quality and safety of Victorian dairy products. The considerable volume of data generated provides an industry-wide view of the occurrence of indicator and pathogenic organisms in Victorian dairy products. This has allowed DFSV to analyse trends in the microbiological quality of products and enabled manufacturers to benchmark their results against other manufacturers of similar products.

The program

In 2015 the program expanded to include a component which focuses on selected high-risk dairy product categories.

More extensive microbiological testing and measurement of selected chemical parameters are now included to provide definitive data on compliance with the Food Standards Code. If testing results fall outside the Code criteria for food safety, DFSV will take appropriate action to control the product risk.

As a compliance monitoring tool, the expanded program adds to the data indicating effective implementation of food safety programs and provides additional verification of the food safety system.

Additional analysis provides DFSV with enhanced data on food safety risk across the industry at product and manufacturer level and informs technical support activities.

Product categories

Product categories tested under program include:

 Cream  Yoghurt-based dips 
Fermented milk productsCream cheese-based dips
Hard cheeseFresh cheese
Ice creamShredded and grated cheese
SpreadsSurface mould ripened cheese
Semi-soft cheeseDairy desserts
Pasteurised liquid milk 

The sampling plan requires five samples from a single batch to align with Food Standards Code criteria. Samples are collected by DFSV auditors at six-monthly audits.

Each year the program will be reviewed to ensure that testing remains risk based and cost effective. Any emerging issues or risks that may impact on dairy food safety will also be considered at this time.

Performance reports and results are provided back to industry, enabling manufacturers to benchmark their performance against de-identified manufacturers of similar products.

2016-17 Report

2015-16 Report

2014-15 Report

Key points to remember

  • The expanded program focuses on selected high-risk products in addition to existing low-risk products.
  • Samples will be collected at the time of six-monthly audits.
  • The program design is reviewed annually.
  • Contact DFSV by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 03 9810 5900 if you have any questions.

The national AMRA Survey is funded by Dairy Australia and is approved annually by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. The survey monitors raw milk for the potential presence of agricultural, veterinary and environmental chemical residues.

The survey is integral to verifying the effectiveness of dairy industry systems to control residues in the milk supply. As well as providing assurance to the domestic market, the results from the survey play a critical role in maintaining international market access.

For the 2014–15 survey, 1000 samples, taken from milk tankers from all dairying regions of Australia, were tested for a range of residues. The industry performance was outstanding – 100% compliance with the relevant Australian standard.

Annual reports and further information is available on the Dairy Australia website.