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Regulator assesses code change for raw milk in Australia

By Helen Glaberson , 19-Aug-2011
Last updated on 19-Aug-2011 at 16:36 GMT2011-08-19T16:36:00Z

Food safety authorities are calling for public comment on changes that would allow raw milk (non-pasteurised) products to be processed and sold in Australia.

The Food Standards Australia New Zealand’s (FSANZ) second assessment report: Proposal 1007 assesses whether current restrictions in place for raw milk in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) for milk and dairy products are appropriate.

The regulator wants feedback on its recommendation to permit non-pasteurised hard to very hard cooked curd cheeses. This will involve changes to the Code relating to storage time and moisture content requirements.

The main objective of the proposal is to enable a greater range of dairy products to be produced in and imported to the country.

However, FSANZ said it wants to ensure an acceptable level of public health and safety will be achieved through the alternative processing and production measures.

Two categories

In the first assessment of Proposal 1007, FSANZ concluded that two dairy categories have an acceptable level of public health risk.

The first category consists of products for which the properties and/or processing factors eliminate pathogens that may have been present in raw milk.

The second category relates to products for which the properties and/or processing factors may allow the survival of pathogens that may have been present in raw milk but do not support the growth of these pathogens.

However, P1007 concluded that category three products were deemed to have a risk that was too high to ensure safety.

Category three consists of products in which the intrinsic characteristics and/or processing factors are likely to allow the survival of pathogens.

FSANZ said there were no control measures for these products.

The current exemption that allows raw goat milk will be reviewed separately, said FSANZ.

Approvals are notified to the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council.

After notification, the council has 60 days to either ask FSANZ to review the application or inform FSANZ that it does not intend to request a review.

FSANZ is also calling for comment on Application A1051, which is seeking permission for food derived from a genetically modified soybean with a tolerance to the herbicides glyphosate and isoxaflutole, to provide a broader weed management strategy.

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