COVID-19 and dairy food safety
On 2 August 2020, the Victorian Government announced the introduction of Stage 4 restrictions for the Melbourne Metropolitan area and Stage 3 restrictions for regional Victoria.
From 11:59pm on 5 August 2020, additional business restrictions will come into effect.
These restrictions may affect how your business can operate and in most cases will include a requirement to have a COVID Safe Plan and to provide staff with worker permits.
Please refer to the DHHS website to understand how these restrictions affect your business.
|There is no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through food|
In order to continue to produce safe food and maintain a reliable food supply, it is important that dairy manufacturers:
- Ensure normal hygiene and sanitation protocols that ensure food safety are reinforced and diligently maintained
- Ensure normal food safety controls are maintained and monitored.
- Assess and control the impact of social distancing or other COVID-19 mitigation measures on food safety
- Manage the potential for entry of the virus into the food processing environment by strictly enforcing ill worker exclusion procedures (including ensuring that staff are aware of COVID-19 symptoms)
- Minimise the potential for transmission of the virus between workers by implementing social distancing
- Reinforce necessity of good hygienic practices with staff, especially hand washing. Provide ample supplies of hand sanitiser and hand washing supplies. If necessary, provide additional hand washing stations.
COVID-19 and food safety
Managing COVID-19 in the workplace - information for businesses
Hygiene and coronavirus
General dairy industry advice
In most situations, employers (and self-employed) are now required to notify Worksafe Victoria immediately when a worker tests positive for COVID-19. Please refer to the Worksafe Victoria website to understand your obligations to report positive cases of COVID-19 in your workplace.
Safe Work Australia provide information on what to do if a worker has COVID-19.
The Dairy Australia COVID-19 Directory also provides good information on what to do when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
DFSV is required to undertake ongoing compliance verification audits to ensure food safety regulatory requirements are upheld. These will continue.
Please contact your Food Safety Manager if you expect difficulties with being able to undertake an onsite audit due to COVID-19 restrictions.
DFSV is currently working with third-party contract auditors and dairy manufacturers to maintain verification audit activities of food safety systems in place on licenced dairy farms in accordance with Victorian government directions. As such, audits may be undertaken via a remote means in place of a physical site visit until such guidance is revised. If you have further questions regarding this, please contact DFSV.
Dairy Australia also has useful information for the broader dairy industry including farms.