The role of dairy hygiene inspectors on farms in England and Wales will pass from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) from April 2012.

Food Standards Agency (FSA) staff will take over the role of dairy hygiene inspectors on farms in England and Wales from April 2012, continuing the work of AHVLA which previously conducted this work on the FSA’s behalf.

Milking parlourDairy hygiene inspections are carried out on dairy farms to help protect the milk supply from the risk of contamination by bacteria and other substances, some of which are potentially harmful. Inspectors check milking premises, equipment and milk-producing animals.

FSA inspectors will undertake intensive training and will shadow AHVLA inspectors to be ready for the changeover, although the AHVLA has agreed to continue some inspections throughout April and May to “ensure a smooth transition”.

This changeover follows a 2011 announcement that the FSA intended to reduce the frequency of official hygiene inspections on dairy farms to make the system more proportionate to the food safety risks.

FSA director of operations Andrew Rhodes said: “This was deemed the most cost effective option for delivering consistent, risk based controls and the best level of consumer protection.”

  • Official controls within dairy establishments in Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to be delivered by local authorities and DARDNI.

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