Food and Drug Administration:

Interstate Milk Shippers Program

HRD-86-54FS: Published: Dec 20, 1985. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) actions, as part of the Interstate Milk Shippers Program, to identify and correct weaknesses related to milk pasteurization.

GAO found that: (1) testing procedures appear to have kept pace with the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance revisions, but additional inspection guidance is needed for bulk milk haulers; (2) there are testing methods for detecting and measuring coliform and other bacteria, but not for identifying phosphatase and antibiotics at levels lower than the current Ordinance standards; (3) there is no technology that allows plants to consistently produce pasteurized milk at levels significantly lower than the Ordinance provides; (4) FDA actions are underway or planned in fiscal year (FY) 1986 to address weaknesses in dairy plants related to milk pasteurization and are intended to help ensure that milk production, processing, and distribution controls are sufficient to preclude future disease outbreaks; (5) FDA plans to report on the status of its initiatives in December 1986; and (6) state program evaluations, which were postponed, will be reinstated in FY 1987.

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