Raw milk movement during a foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak from dairies in a Control Area is not without risk of disease spread to livestock. FMD is NOT a public health or food safety concern. Milk is safe. Milk movement may be by permit only, issued by Regulatory Officials once producers and processors meet certain requirements aimed at controlling this animal disease while continuing to operate their businesses.
More information about milk movement permits is available in the:
- SMS Plan,
- Regulatory Officials permit guidance page, and
- Permitting guidance document for milk processors which is the result of the pro-active risk assessment for the movement of raw milk.
Since cows can shed FMD virus in their milk, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Terrestrial Animal Health Code has recommendations for treatment of milk for human or animal consumption from FMD infected countries. In an FMD outbreak, the U.S. will follow the OIE published standards for the inactivation of FMD virus in milk and milk products. The SMS Plan includes Milk Handling Recommendations in an FMD Outbreak and these are listed below.
Milk for Human Consumption
Milk processing per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), assures milk and milk products are safe and wholesome for human consumption. These same principles apply to milk that meets all quality PMO standards from an FMD affected herd. A review of inactivation of FMD virus in milk products was completed in 2012.
SMS Plan milk handling recommendations during an FMD outbreak include:
- Processing of milk from a Control Area must always include pasteurization.
- Milk originating from farms with no evidence of infection within an FMD Control Area that has been treated to OIE standards for either human or animal consumption, may leave the FMD Control Area and enter commerce for either human or animal consumption.
- It is NOT necessary to recall from commerce milk or milk products that were treated to OIE standards for human consumption.
Milk for Animal Consumption
The potential for FMD transmission to animals occurs when raw or single high-temperature, short-time (HTST) pasteurized milk or milk products are fed to animals without additional processing. The OIE standards for animal consumption are more rigorous than the standards for treating milk and milk products for human consumption because of the role of animals in transmitting disease to other animals.
Additional SMS Plan milk handling recommendations during an FMD outbreak include:
- It is NOT necessary to recall from commerce milk or milk products that were treated to OIE standards for animal consumption.
- Recall from commerce and destroy milk and milk products for animal consumption that may have originated from an infected herd and that were not treated to OIE standards.