COVID-19 and dairy food safety

As COVID-19 continues to challenge us on the global stage, dairy businesses are reminded to remain vigilant in maintaining social distancing and ill worker exclusion policies, as well as environmental hygiene. The following advice continues to be relevant to all dairy businesses.

There is no current evidence that food nor food packaging is a pathway for the spread of COVID-19 (FAO, 2021)

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.


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.

Remember that you can contact DFSV staff directly with particular queries, or via the information email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.