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Audit of Michigan food and dairy showed insufficient inspections

According to an audit released today, Michigan food and dairy facilities are not being inspected as often as they should be.

The audit of the Food and Dairy Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development found that routine inspections were not always conducted.

The audit states that the Food and Dairy Department "did not always conduct routine inspections and schedule re-inspections of dairy facilities, trucks, and haulers and samplers according to law or guidelines."

Communications director Jennifer Holton says the department was not able to perform timely inspections due to staffing and budget cutbacks. Despite this, Holton says food safety was not compromised.

"Although we didn't always meet the inspection frequencies, the inspections did happen, just not always in the time frame that they should have, and we recognize that. Bottom line is despite losing a quarter of our staff, we were still able to keep milk from our state's dairy farms safe, wholesome and flowing in commerce," she said.

Holton says the department  partnered with the Certified Industry Dairy Farm Inspection program in order to meet state and federal dairy regulations.

"Certified industry field representatives conducted a portion of the farm inspections," she said.

Holton says that Michigan's food and dairy was and is safe to consume.