FVO finds ‘significant improvements’ during Ukrainian dairy audit

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Previous dairy audits had been done in 2008, 2009 and 2010
Previous dairy audits had been done in 2008, 2009 and 2010

Related tags Milk

Significant improvements on the production and processing of dairy products to the EU have been made in Ukraine, according to the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO).

An audit, the first on the area since 2010, found procedures and supervision to ensure milk compliance had got better but added progress remains to be made in evaluation and documentation of EU compliant milk.

There are no establishments authorised at the moment to export milk and dairy products from Ukraine to the EU, said FVO.

The State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service (SVPS) introduced a procedure for the listing of EU-compliant milk processing establishments last year.

Processing plants visited

Nine milk processing plants evaluated as EU-compliant were presented to the FVO audit team: five were visited, while for the other four inspection reports from the Regional and the Central level were presented.

Two were processing only EU-compliant milk, three out of five premises visited met the general and specific requirements and the other two could easily reach the compliance in a short-medium time, said the FVO.

The two sites could not ensure or document proper segregation of EU-compliant and non EU-compliant milk, or were using some additional non EU-compliant ingredients (e.g. butter imported from other third countries).

It was the fourth audit on this subject with previous audits in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

“Significant improvement has been noted since the last FVO audit in 2010, in particular in the official controls over dairy holdings (including animal health controls) and in the FBOs' procedures.

“The supervision and assessment of compliance of milk processing establishments from a hygiene point of view is satisfactory, whilst progress remains to be made in the evaluation and the documentation of the segregation of EU compliant milk.”

SVPS has created a procedure of self-assessment to food and beverage operators intended for export of milk and dairy products to the European Union.

The agency said firms should implement a procedure of segregation of raw milk at all production stages and provide documentary evidence of its efficiency.

Microorganism testing

In the FBOs visited the testing of final dairy products for detection of Salmonella and Listeria was done in external laboratories, using the ISO reference methods in Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005.

However, the detection of E.coli was still done in the food and beverage operators laboratories using the GOST analytical standard which had not been validated against the ISO reference method.

GOST are the technical state standards used in CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries.

In all milk processing sites visited the raw milk from each supplier was sampled and tested for somatic cell count (SCC), total plate count (TPC) at 30oC and antibiotics every 10 days, as prescribed by national provisions.

“Slight differences in laboratory testing for TPC and SCC had in practice little influence on the evaluation of raw milk quality…​” said FVO.

“FBOs intended for export of milk and dairy products to the EU are obliged to ensure the compliance of laboratory investigations on TPC and SCC using analytical methods which are prescribed by Chapter I Annex VIa Commission Regulation (EC) № 2074/2005 (paragraph 4),”​ said SVPS.

HACCP programmes included requirements for heat treatment of raw milk in line with the Milk-HTC health certificate outlined in Regulation (EU) No 605/2010; however, only in one of them, was the pasteurisation equipment validated to ensure the temperature/time parameters.

Specific training on EU requirements for highly specialised senior inspectors at central level took place in January 2014.

However, not all officials and establishment representatives demonstrated an adequate knowledge of EU requirements for the production of dairy based products, said FVO.

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