What do we do?
The Dairy Control Program is responsible for the regulation of all aspects of the dairy industry in the State. This includes the production of Grade “A” milk and the processing and manufacturing of Grade “A” and non-Grade “A” milk and milk products. The program is funded primarily by the General Fund and by some license fees.
Milk producers are regulated under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), as well as dairy laws in the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) and the Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.). Producers are checked regularly for overall sanitation, milk protection and handling, usage and handling of animal medications and related activities. Milk and farm waters are sampled regularly to ensure a safe, quality milk supply. Other dairy farm activities include the evaluation of the licensed hauler/samplers who pick up milk from producers, and the inspection and permitting of the milk tank trucks.
Milk processing plants are also regulated under the PMO, the A.R.S. and the A.A.C. Some non-Grade “A” products, such as cheese and butter, are regulated using United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines. Dairy Control inspectors regulate milk processing plants, from receiving milk from the producer, to the point that the final products are shipped out. Each tanker of milk received must be first checked for antibiotics, prior to unloading the tanker. The Industry Samplers, who take milk samples from the tanker, are evaluated by the State inspectors. This helps assure uniformity in the samples that are evaluated. Processing plants are regularly inspected for sanitation, milk storage and handling, equipment cleaning and product packaging and storage. Milk pasteurization equipment is evaluated for public health controls and tested at the initial installation and at regular intervals to assure proper pasteurization. Raw milk and finished milk and milk products are sampled from milk processing plants and submitted to the State Agriculture Lab. Tests conducted include bacterial levels, antibiotics and tests to confirm proper pasteurization.
Arizona is a member and voting delegate in the National Conference for Interstate Milk Shippers (NCIMS). The NCIMS is a cooperative program between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the dairy industry and State Regulatory Authorities. It is designed to provide regulatory uniformity and reciprocity for Grade “A” milk and milk products. The Conference convenes biennially to consider changes to the PMO and other Conference related documents.
Arizona law permits the sale of certain raw milk and raw milk products to the final consumer. Facilities that do so must be licensed and regulated by the Arizona Department of Agriculture. They must meet all requirements of the PMO and State regulations, with the exception of proper pasteurization. Raw milk products are limited to those described in the law and must be properly labeled. Raw milk labels must prominently state “Raw Milk: Not Pasteurized and May Contain Organisms Injurious to Your Health.” Additionally, producers of raw milk for consumption must have their herds tested annually for tuberculosis and brucellosis. Persons that sell raw milk as animal/pet food must be licensed by the Environmental Services Division of the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
Want More Information?
For more information, contact us at (602) 542-4189.