Proposed amendments to Regulation 761 under the Milk Act
R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 761
Bill or Act:
Summary of Proposal:
The Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission (Commission) is proposing amendments to Regulation 761: Milk and Milk Products, under the Milk Act.
The proposed amendments are intended to help reduce burden for existing dairy processors, new and expanding dairy processors, and small foodservice and retail operations.
The Commission amends regulations periodically to ensure that they continue to support producers, processors and the agri-food sector.
Based on previous stakeholder input, the Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have identified several prescriptive regulatory requirements that pose barriers and costs to Ontario dairy processors. These include:
Plant Ceiling Height and Design
Currently, any dairy processing facility must have a minimum three metre ceiling height, which can limit commercial building options and increases plant construction or renovation costs. This requirement was originally in place to prevent moisture accumulation on ceilings, but can be addressed by other means e.g., through ventilation.
Floor Slope and Drains
Currently all areas in a plant where milk or milk products are handled, processed or stored must have a sloped floor to a trapped floor drain. This requirement does not differentiate between 'wet' processing activities involving liquid milk products or other processing activities such as cutting and wrapping of cheese. These requirements often limit existing commercial building options, and increase plant construction or renovation costs.
Currently, dairy processing facilities receiving milk must have a pump capable of unloading 2.2 hectolitres of milk per minute from a tank truck. There are also minimum size provisions for pasteurizers and butter churns. Specific equipment capacity requirements can impose additional costs, especially for small dairy processors.
Milk Receiving Rooms
New or expanding facilities receiving cow milk, must currently have an enclosed receiving room and a readily available tank truck wash station. The requirements can significantly increase plant construction or renovation costs, especially for processing facilities receiving only a small amount of milk.
There is a very broad range of activities that are considered part of dairy processing, ranging from higher risk activities e.g., processing dairy products from raw milk, to lower risk activities e.g. making products for retail sale from pre-pasteurized milk products. Many such businesses are also subject to duplicate inspection oversight by public health.
Please see Appendix A: Proposed Regulation Comparison Chart
The Commission is proposing to amend certain prescriptive and burdensome requirements to be more specific or outcome based. These amendments would respect dairy food safety and quality, and worker health and safety.
Interested stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback through the Regulatory Registry, or by contacting Commission staff. Commission and OMAFRA staff will also meet with stakeholders as appropriate.
November 19, 2018
Comments Due Date:
January 10, 2019
Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission
1 Stone Road West, 5th Floor, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 4Y2