The International Dairy Federation (IDF) recently published a new guidance document to help the dairy industry conduct in-process product sampling that produces accurate and actionable microbiological data.

In-process sampling during dairy production and processing is critical for hygiene management, process monitoring, and microbiological risk management. Quality Managers use sampling plan results to check if microbiological specifications are met. Sampling data can also help identify in-process microbiological variances that may indicate biofilms, cracks, or pinholes in stainless steel or gaskets leading to product spoilage or pathogen contamination.

However, practical guidance for in-process product sampling detailing food microbiological analytical methods, defined processes, and responsibilities for taking samples along the process chain is lacking in available standards and guidelines.

Therefore, the new IDF document supports dairy plants and farms in generating accurate and representative in-process microbiological sample data. There are significant consequences for both microbiological and chemical analyses that can be influenced by the heterogeneity of the contamination of a sample, sample size, and sampling method. A harmonized sampling process is proposed by IDF to help provide accurate and comparable results to help proactively identify in-line contamination or quality issues.

The guidance document costs €50.00 to download.