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Safety & Quality

IDF engages in safeguarding the integrity and transparency of the dairy supply chain to ensure the safety and quality of milk and dairy products.

Food safety is a global issue that requires worldwide cooperation. IDF works collaboratively to safeguard the integrity and transparency of the dairy supply chain to ensure the safety and quality of milk and dairy products, and to ensure consumers can trust food products that are produced and play a key role in sharing knowledge and best practice, to create better outcomes.

Our work covers microbiological, as well as chemical and physical risks. The evolution of testing and monitoring, alongside IDF research and publications on issues like residues and contaminants, pathogens and spoilage organisms, antimicrobial resistance, the impact of zoonoses, pasteurization and new classes of hazard control measures, effectively safeguard and build on the integrity of dairy globally.


Helping produce dairy of the highest quality

Ensuring food safety and quality for billions of dairy consumers can only be guaranteed through partnership with other organisations, allowing efficient use of resources, avoiding duplication of efforts and share workload among partners.
IDF works with key international organizations such as Codex, FAO, WHO, OIE, ISO and many others to ensure the safety and quality of dairy products is continually improving, and with experts around the world to proactively develop further guidance for the dairy sector.  

Dairy producers are required to meet robust safety and quality standards that ensure safety. Some key facts about dairy and safety:

  • Dairy has been at the forefront of developing testing and technologies to safeguard the quality and traceability of milk and continues to innovate and develop technologies in this area. Wide ranging legislation and testing governs milk quality and safety.
  • Most milk and dairy products are heat-treated or processed to ensure safety and longer conservation, therefore supporting food security. Pasteurisation remains a widely accessible method of choice for most bactericidal treatments in the dairy industry. Bioprotection and fermentation (yoghurt, cheese) are other processes that dairy products take advantage from to ensure safe consumption, healthy benefits, longer shelf life, and reduced waste.
  • International standards and guidance protect the health of dairy consumers and safeguard fair trade practices. These include a wide range of Codex standards, combined with an increasing, and regularly reviewed, portfolio of IDF/ISO standards for methods of analysis and sampling to guarantee safety and quality, and international guidance and best practices for the sector.
  • The dairy sector applies good hygienic practices and the implementation of a robust HACCP plan, and pro-active approaches such as process environment monitoring, to ensure the safety of dairy processes and preventing recontamination events from foodborne pathogens.

Without food safety, there is no food security. IDF strives to promote science-based and informed approaches to dairy safety and quality

''Farm to fork' safety approach

As an organisation, IDF strives to create a global consensus on risk assessment, as well as promote science-based and informed approaches to food safety and quality issues, providing scientific advice on potential risks to food safety along the entire dairy chain. 

We advocate a rigorous farm-to-fork food safety and quality approach to ensure that milk and dairy products have been processed, prepared, and handled according to the highest possible global food safety and quality standards.

  • IDF’s scientific advice is used by decision makers, national authorities, academia, consumer organisations and the public at large. 
  • We contribute to the development of science-based guidance and providing leadership on dairy safety, quality and risk management issues to key international organizations.

Learn more about safety & quality

Food Standards

Helping to ensure that consumers can trust dairy products produced around the world.

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Methods of Analysis & Sampling

Facilitating trade and building trust in the dairy sector through standardized methods for the safet...

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Hygiene & Safety

Working collaboratively to safeguard the integrity and transparency of the global dairy supply chain...

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Standards Pillar

IDF pro-actively supports a vibrant dairy sector committed to continuously improving its ability to ...

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Related reports & publications

IDF provides a permanent source of authoritative scientific and other information on a whole range of topics relevant to the dairy sector.