Proposed regulatory amendments to Regulation 761: Milk and Milk Products under the Milk Act.
Regulation – Other
Bill or Act:
Summary of Decision:
Following a request from dairy industry stakeholders, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (Commission) made amendments to Regulation 761: Milk and Milk Products under the Milk Act.
The amendments include: Allowing an on-farm processor (or their employee) who only processes their own milk and holds a BTMG certificate to receive a PMG certificate without being required to complete the PMG examination. This will reduce costs to the worker. The requirement for a set frequency of cleaning and sanitizing a dairy plant has been replaced with: – a requirement that the plant be cleaned and sanitized as often as necessary to maintain a hygienic environment; – a requirement for written sanitation programs providing the most appropriate cleaning frequency based on the food safety risk of the plant’s processes and products;- and a requirement for thorough records related to the implementation of sanitation programsReview of written sanitation programs and records will be part of the routine inspection process and licensing decisions for dairy plants as part of the Ministry’s dairy inspection program. BTMG and PMG certificates will be allowed to expire up to a maximum of five years after an effective date (instead of exactly five years from the date of issue), which will provide the organizations that operate certificate renewal programs with the flexibility to align certificate expirations on a common fixed date. This will simplify the administration of certificate renewal processes. Additional minor and consequential amendments were made to uniformly use the term Bulk Tank Milk Grader (BTMG) throughout Regulation 761 and to provide consistent direction for BTMGs – whether transferring milk from a farm bulk tank to a tank-truck, or to an on-farm processing plant.
The amendments continue to maintain Ontario’s high food safety and quality standards.The Regulations were filed with the Registrar of Regulations and are now in effect.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 761: MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS
March 23, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
Ontario’s dairy industry has changed over the last several decades and updating regulations supports keeping pace with new technologies, practices and products. Some current requirements in Regulation 761 under the Milk Act are resulting in unnecessary costs for dairy processors. There is an opportunity to modernize certain regulatory requirements to be more risk-based and outcome-based while continuing to maintain Ontario’s high food safety and quality standards.
The proposed amendments include:
Milk being moved from farm to processing in Ontario is graded twice. First by a Bulk Tank Milk Grader (BTMG) before being transferred into a tank truck for transport to a processing plant and then by a Plant Milk Grader (PMG) before being received into the plant. Both BTMGs and PMGs are required to recertify at regular intervals. Some dairy farms in Ontario are also processing their milk in an on-farm processing plant. An amendment allowing an on-farm processor who only processes their own milk and holds a BTMG certificate to receive a PMG certificate without requiring them to complete the PMG examination will reduce costs related to the examination (e.g., costs of training course, mileage, accommodation, time away from their farm and processing plant) and will not impact milk safety and quality.
Replacing the current requirement for a prescriptive minimum frequency of cleaning and sanitizing plant equipment with a requirement for written sanitation programs that will determine the most appropriate cleaning frequency based on the food safety risk of the process and the products in the plant. Keeping records of the routine implementation of the written sanitation programs will also be required. Moving to requiring written sanitation programs that establish the frequency of cleaning based on the food safety risk of the product being manufactured will also align Ontario’s regulatory approach with federal requirements that many processing plants in Ontario are required to meet as part of their federal licensing.
Allowing that BTMG and PMG certificates expire up to a maximum of five years after an effective date (instead of exactly five years from the date of issue) will provide the organizations that operate certificate renewal programs with the flexibility to align certificate expirations annually. This will simplify the administration of certificate renewal processes.
Farm Products Marketing Commission Secretariat1 Stone Road West, 5th Floor, N1G 4Y2
June 23, 2023