Consumer safety is a matter of increasing concern, and is subject of continuous media attention as well as the general public attention. To assure that food products of animal origin are safe, the European Union has produced several directives, which will be compulsory in the near future. The HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) concept is not easy to implement on dairy farms because we are dealing with a complex production system including live animals, where the hazards and risks are manifold and highly diverse. The veterinarian should be pivotal to the program: contributing to the creation of the farm-HACCP team, willing to work with other professionals, and having sound knowledge of the production process. The application of this kind of program on dairy will ensure the safety of the food produced; protect animals and food from hazards during the production process before they pass beyond the physical limits of the dairy farm, to reach the next step in the food chain. Milk is a good example of a product that is already well controlled.
In this paper, we describe the seven HACCP principles embedded in the 12th steps for developing a HACCP-like program. The HACCP concept cannot be fully applied, because:
(1) Animals show biological variation and hence no formal standards with tolerance limits can often be assigned.
(2) Most outcome parameters are based on diagnostic tests which do not show a 100% sensitivity or specificity, hence
providing false-positive and false-negative results.
(3) Most often on farms we can not define true Critical Control Points (CCP’s) according to the formal criteria set and
hence have to switch to Points of Particular Attention (POPA’s) which do not meet all the CCP criteria but are
still considered as critical in process control. Therefore, we talk about a HACCP-like program. The handbook of a
HACCP-like Quality Risk Management Program is present and several examples are given. Some outcomes of
risk hazards are present too. CCP’s and POPA’s are highlight with examples. The main objective of this paper is
the to make the veterinarians aware of the expected evolution in ensuring consumers that food products originated
on dairy farms are safe, and to show which role they should play in this development.