Surveillance programs

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

The program is an annual survey that evaluates the microbiological and physiochemical status of dairy products manufactured in Victoria.

The data enables assessment of compliance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). If test results fall outside the criteria for food safety specified in Section 27 of the code, DFSV will take appropriate action to address the product risk.

As a compliance monitoring tool, the program provides an additional verification of the effectiveness of the industry’s food safety systems.

Analysis of the data provides DFSV with an enhanced understanding of food safety risk across the industry at product and manufacturer level, supplies valuable data for determining the ability of various products to support the growth of pathogens and informs technical activities.

Product categories

Cream cheese-based dipsPasteurised liquid milk
Yoghurt-based dipsPasteurised liquid cream
Dairy dessertsSemi-soft cheese
Fermented milk productsShredded, grated and cut cheese
Fresh cheeseSmear-ripened cheese
Hard cheeseSpreads
Ice creamSurface mould-ripened cheese

Note: Dairy powders, UHT and concentrates are excluded from the program.

Five samples per batch of product are collected from each product category manufactured at a site. The DFSV auditors oversee the collection of samples at six-monthly audits. Testing conducted as part of the program is additional to a manufacturer’s normal in-house testing.

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

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

2017–18 Report

Survey of undeclared allergens – 2018

2016–17 Report

2015–16 Report

2014–15 Report

The national AMRA Survey is funded by the Department of Agriculture. 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 2018-19 survey, 1,000 samples were taken from milk tankers from all dairying regions of Australia and tested for a range of residues. The industry performance was outstanding – 100% compliance with the relevant Australian standard.

Annual reports are available on the Australian Government Department of Agriculture website.