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Milk hygiene and antibiotic residues

Guidance for milk producers on hygiene standards and testing milk for antibiotic residues.

Last updated: 5 March 2020
See all updates
Last updated: 5 March 2020
See all updates

Food hygiene legislation sets out the duty of food businesses to produce food safely.


EU references in FSA guidance documents

Directly applicable EU legislation no longer applies in GB. EU legislation retained when the UK exited the EU became assimilated law on 1 January 2024, published on References to any legislation in FSA guidance with ‘EU’ or ‘EC’ in the title (e.g. Regulation (EC) 178/2002) should now be regarded as assimilated law where applicable to GB. References to ‘Retained EU Law’ or ‘REUL’ should now be regarded as references to assimilated law. 

For businesses moving goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, information on the Windsor Framework is available on GOV.UK. 

The Windsor Framework was adopted by the UK and EU on 24 March 2023. The Framework provides a unique set of arrangements to support the flow of agrifood retail products from Great Britain (GB) to Northern Ireland (NI), allowing GB standards for public health in relation to food, marketing and organics to apply for pre-packed retail goods moved via the NI Retail Movement Scheme (NIRMS).

Milk producer guidance

Red Tractor is an FSA approved assurance scheme which aims to ensure food products are traceable, safe and farmed with care. They offer practical guidance and assurance manuals for milk producers.

Testing milk for antibiotic residues

Milk producers must ensure that milk from animals under antibiotic treatment or in the withdrawal period does not enter the food chain.

Food businesses must test milk for antibiotics at various points in the supply chain, including on farm. If milk is found to contain antibiotic residues in excess of maximum residue limit (MRL), food businesses must initiate procedures to ensure that raw milk is not placed on the market.

Our guidance on testing of milk for antibiotic residues explains:

  • legal requirements
  • what an antibiotic screen test failure means and actions to be taken
  • who should be notified in the event of a test failure

England, Northern Ireland and Wales