Hygiene regulations for milk and milk product handlers

All milk businesses must comply with certain rules and regulations which govern the production of safe food. These regulations have their origins in European legislation and are designed to ensure consumers are protected by requiring food businesses adhere to them.

Enforcement of milk hygiene regulations

Within the UK, the Food Standards Agency is known as the Central Competent Authority for implementing the Food Hygiene Regulations.  This involves making food businesses aware of their legal responsibilities, providing guidance on complying with the regulations and also implementing a system of official controls such as inspections, audits and testing.

In Northern Ireland, DAERA Agri-food Inspection Branch (AfIB) carries out this work on behalf of the Food Standards Agency. Within AfIB, the Milk Inspectorate team carries out inspections and provides guidance on legislation relating to milk purchasing, haulage, raw milk supply, processing and distribution. They are also responsible for the enforcement of legislation on milk production holdings in Northern Ireland.

As a food business it is important to keep in mind that the hygiene regulations are there to protect consumers, not to inconvenience food businesses.  It is also worth remembering that the responsibility for meeting the legal requirements rests with the food business operator (the purchaser, haulier, processor and distributor – at each appropriate stage).

Compliance with hygiene regulations 

At the beginning of 2006 a package of new consolidated EU food hygiene regulations came into force. They set out the responsibilities of food business operators, the required standards for premises, plant and product and the control systems to be applied to ensure compliance with this legislation. The regulations include:

The Food Hygiene Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 (as amended) provide for the execution and enforcement in Northern Ireland of the above Community regulations. 

As a food business it is important that you are familiar with the legislation (links above) and understand clearly what you are required to do in order to comply with it.

Approval and registration

EU Hygiene legislation requires all food businesses to be either approved or registered.

For guidance on whether your business needs to be registered or approved please contact AFIB milk inspectors listed below.

To apply for Registration please print form R006 or if making changes to an existing registered premises, please print form R083 complete the relevant sections and return to:

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Agri-food Inspection Branch
Room 1021
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road

To apply for approval please contact the Food Standards Agency at http://www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/sectorrules/milkandairy

Agri-food Inspection Branch contacts

Head of Milk Inspectorate

Fintan McCann
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Agri-food Inspection Branch
Room 1018
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Tel: 028 9052 4686
E-mail: Fintan.mccann@daera-ni.gov.uk

Milk Inspectors

Mrs Shirley Fulton
Sperrin House
Sedan Avenue
BT79 7AQ
Tel: 028 8225 3471
E-mail: Shirley.fulton@daera-ni.gov.uk
Mrs Julie Glass
Atek Building
Edenaveys Industrial Estate
Newry Road
BT60 1NF
Tel: 028 3752 9073
E-mail: Julie.glass@daera-ni.gov.uk
Mr Niall Bell
Kilpatrick House
38-54 High Street
BT43 6DP
Tel: 028 2566 2887
E-mail: Niall.bell@daera-ni.gov.uk

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