Promoting the improvement of dairy quality and safety

in the interest of the dairy industry and the consumer

statutory projects

3. Special Investigations

The purpose of this project is: 

  • To investigate food safety risks and possible product non-conformances in terms of compliance with legal standards in the range of the standard product analysis as per Project 1: National milk monitoring in collaboration with Health Authorities.
  • To initiate special investigations, based on sound scientific evidence (results of the analysis done on milk and any other dairy product (Project 1) or on suspicion based on the merit of information received).
  • To consider further investigations based on an outcome of a complaint received regarding product non-compliance in respect of milk and or any other dairy product offered for sale in South Africa (Project 2).
  • To sample and analyse milk (raw and heat-treated) and other dairy products at processing/distributor and retail facilities as a result of activities in terms of Project 5.
  • To compile comprehensive scientific reports as an annexure to quarterly or annual report as input to management review meetings.
  • To forward non-conforming results, in terms of the relevant legal standards to the manager of Project 6, for appropriate action.

A minimum of three special investigations typical to the project outline is provided for in the annual budget.

The project makes provision for investigation and testing of any milk and other dairy products that do not fall within the frequency or type of product tested in Project 1

These may result in:

  • more frequent testing of milk and other dairy products in terms of the standard range of analysis conducted in order to verify test results or collecting data for trend analysis (Project 5).
  • submission of milk and any other dairy products to more advanced testing methods that do not form part of the standard range of analysis conducted on milk by the DSA. Where the DSA considers it appropriate, special investigations will be conducted with or without the involvement of government institutions regarding:

• compliance with legal standards of milk and or any dairy products as provided for under the compositional standards under the Agricultural Product Standards Act, 1990 (Act 119 of 1990);

• food safety risks related to dairy products identified as national or of international origin.

  • liaison with the DSA Technical Committee as and when required regarding food safety and dairy technical issues.

In the event of no non-conformances identified, the information will be captured and used as part of the close-out report for the special investigation conducted.

Follow-up actions in terms of feedback reports from government organisations or resampling for verification purposes shall be considered as a priority before close-out reports are documented.

Planned activities and outputs

Project Goal Objective 

Performance Goal 

Effective risk identification 

To obtain maximum accessibility to industry information, news, statistical and trend analysis in order to identify potential food safety and quality risks. 

Effective sampling 

Conduct sampling of products according to procedures that are in line with DSA, national and/or international requirements. 

Effective testing 

Use accredited or authorised laboratories that conduct verified, accredited or acceptable test methods. 

Accurate interpretation of results 

Where applicable, make use of technical experts for the interpretation of test results. 

Remedial action 

Implement appropriate actions, as stipulated in terms of project goals 5 and 6. 

Provide for a contingency fund in case of a food scare 

Request additional funding from Milk SA for additional analysis, if necessary, in order to identify non-conformances in the case of major national or international food safety incidents.

Establish and maintain practical contingency procedures 

Implement practical procedures and protocol regarding the handling of food safety incidents.


Projected Date of Completion 

Setting up networking systems and procedures for effective risk identification 


Verification of non-conformance 


Submission of official complaints to relevant government organisations (Project goal 6


Obtain feedback from official complaints 


Communication to industry 



Industry Partners

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