Any FBO that applies for License or Renewal of License has to submit FSMS program related documents along with the application for license. Under the Food Safety and Standards Act (2006), you cannot deal in Milk and Milk products without a License. A Central License is required if your dairy units, including milk chilling units are equipped to handle or process more than 50,000 litres of liquid milk/day or 2500 MT of milk solid per annum. A State License is required if your dairy unit handles from 500 to 50,000 litres of milk per day or more than 2.5 MT to 2500 MT of Milk Solids per annum.
To ensure that your licenses are renewed you have to keep in mind that the milk sources and procurement procedures are according to FSSAI regulations. As per the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, the following information will help you to understand and maintain the requirements in order to run your dairy/milk processing food business:
Location and Layout of the establishment
To ensure that food is produced safely, the dairy or milk processing plant should be located away from industries that emit harmful gases, obnoxious odour, chemical etc. The plant or manufacturing unit must have
- a permanent roof made of iron or asbestos sheet/RCC
- cemented, tiled or stone/ pakka flooring
- properly whitewashed and painted walls. covered up to five feet with impervious material
- curved junction between the walls and floor
- adequate and protected lighting fixtures and ventilation,
Machinery must be installed in a way that it does not occupy more than 50% of the space so as to allow easy movement and continuous flow of production. This ratio also helps to keep the processing unit clean and hygienic. Adequate chimneys and exhaust fans need to be in place if required.
Your milk processing units must have a foolproof refuse and effluent disposal system so there is no accumulation. Also have an adequate drainage system in the milk production unit.
To prevent contamination opt for doors with automatic door closers so that flies and insects do not get to the milk and milk products. Proper cleaning & maintenance of window and door screens/meshes. Keep antiseptic/ disinfectant foot mats at door entrances also help to keep contaminants out of the production area. Workers toilet facilities should be outside the processing units.
Equipment and Fixtures
It goes without saying that equipment must be kept clean, washed, dried so that it is free from moulds and fungi. Keep adequate cleaning and disinfecting facilities for all equipment and instruments. Select containers and equipment that do not cause metallic contamination, therefore stainless steel /galvanised iron/ non corrosive materials are advisable. Only use impervious material and close joints for surfaces where food preparations are made. Have a cleaning in place (CIP) system in your processing units.
Workers can maintain better personal hygiene when there are adequate toilets, hand wash, foot mats, detergent, bactericidal soap, hand drying facility and nail cutter available to them. Aprons and headgear will safeguard the milk from contaminants. Place local language personal hygiene posters, with dos and don’ts in your production units. Make employees aware that smoking and spitting will not be tolerated in the milk and milk product processing units.
A six monthly medical checkup will ensure that your employees are free from infectious, contagious and other diseases. Inoculations to safeguard against enteric diseases must be given to food handlers. Do not use employees who are suffering from a hand or face injury, skin infection or clinically recognizable infectious disease.
You must ensure that there is adequate supply of potable water and facilities to store water in a clean and safe manner. Have the water examined for chemical and bacterial contaminants by a NABL accredited laboratory. Make sure that potable and non-potable water pipes are easily identifiable by marking them appropriately.
Conveyance and Transportation
Transportation is an important aspect in milk and milk product conveyance. A clean vehicle adds value and provides contaminant free products. Ensure it is clean especially if the vehicle is also used to carry non-food items also. It should also have a temperature control system. It is a good idea to have a dedicated vehicle for carrying milk. You must use the stipulated format to maintain details of vehicle transporting milk and milk products.
Food Operations and Controls
You must facilitate hygienic handling of raw materials, non-packed or non-wrapped dairy products so they are protected from contaminants during loading and unloading, transportation and storage. Provide bulk milk cooling facility. Facilitate cleaning and disinfecting tank that is used for transporting dairy product and raw milk.
To prevent contamination you must keep in mind that raw milk is
- stored or handled in a clean area
- cooled at temperature of 5°C or lower
- temperature is maintained till further processing
To ensure that you are meeting all regulations make appropriate arrangements for
- storage of food and food ingredients to keep them properly segregated, labeled and follow stock rotation system
- a raised platform with sides and top sufficiently protected to prevent contamination while unloading the raw milk
- the raw milk receiving section to be away from the milk processing area
- stacking milk products on pallets that are made from non-absorbent material and stack products one foot away from wall.
- proper maintenance of time – temperature control during storage as per product requirements
- recording and maintaining specific process controls and temperature
- a separate cold storage facility for milk and milk products (e.g. packed milk, butter, ice – cream, cream, ghee, dahi, paneer, milk powder, cheese or any other product)
- a separate area for packaging of various milk products under satisfactory hygienic conditions
- valid weight and measure certificates for weighing scales and weights from a designated authority
You must make sure that the source, standards of raw material, food additives, ingredients and packaging material wherever applicable all conform to regulations as stated in the Act. Do not use mild steel metal and plastic material for cans/ containers used for storage and transportation of milk and milk products
Inspection / Documentation and Records
If you want to ensure that all is in order you must have adequate documented system SOPs in place for core processes like procurement, storage, processing, packing, etc. According to regulations you must maintain daily records for production, raw material utilization and daily sales. Make sure you conduct a periodic audit of the whole system according to the Standard Operating Procedure regarding Good Manufacturing Practices/Good Hygienic Practices (GMP/ GHP) system. Also maintain records of food processing/ preparation, food quality, laboratory test results, pest control etc. for a period of 1 year or the shelf – life of the product; whichever is more.
Maintain records of sale and purchase of the food product that are sold to registered/ licensed vendors and raw material purchased from registered/ licensed suppliers. Have a documented recall plan so it can be is implemented effectively if required.
Food Testing Facility
Raw milk testing facility and parameters must be available at raw milk reception if in-house laboratory is available for testing of milk and milk products. The test report from your own or NABL accredited/ FSSAI notified lab regarding microbiological contaminants in food items must be available at all times.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Document a cleaning and sanitation programme. Implement it and maintain the record properly. Make sure food preparation areas are cleaned at regular intervals, with water, and detergent and with the use of a disinfectant. The milk receiving area must be equipped with brush/rotary / through can washer. Have an approved waste water disposal system that is hygienically operated.
Product Information and consumer Awareness
You must ensure that all packaged food products carry a label and requisite information as per Regulations.
You must make arrangements so that food production personnel and production floor managers, supervisors, food handlers can undergo appropriate food hygiene training. Maintain a record of the training programme. From time to time review and schedule training programmes so that handlers meet the hygiene compliance.