The Dairy Inspection Program is a regulatory inspection program designed to ensure that milk and other dairy products are safe for consumption. The State Grade A program must meet Federal requirements in order for Grade A dairy products including fluid milk to be shipped interstate. Manufacturing grade products are held to similar Federal requirements. Dairy inspectors perform a wide variety of inspection duties, not just farm inspections.

Dairy Cows in pasture

Dairy Inspection Responsibilities

Inspection Frequency Who Performs Number of Facilities
Grade "A" Farm Inspections 2 times per year Dairy Inspectors About 2750 Grade "A" Farms
Grade "A" Plant Inspections 4 times per year Dairy Inspectors 26 Grade "A" Processing Plants
High Temp Short Time (HTST) Pasteurizers 4 times per year (Grade A); 2 times per year (Manufacturing) Dairy Inspectors 42 Grade Pasteurizers, 55 Manufacturing Grade Pasteurizers
Grade B Farm Inspections 1 time per year Dairy Inspectors About 250 Farms
Manufacturing Grade Plant Inspections 2 times per year Dairy Inspectors About 41 Manufacturing Plants
Hauler/Samplers Once every 2 years Dairy Inspectors About 1,000 haulers
All Milk Tankers Once per year Dairy Inspectors About 600 tankers
Positive Antibiotic Residue - Milk After each violation Dairy Inspectors Depends on the number of violations
Interstate Milk Shippers Farm BTU Surveys Once every 2 years Interstate Rating Officers Farms grouped into BTU's, depends on groupings
Interstate Milk Shippers Plant Surveys Once every 2 years Interstate Rating Officers All Grade "A" Plants Selling Interstate (about 26)

Without dairy inspection, farmers, dairy plants and cooperatives would not be able to sell Grade A milk interstate. Program requirements are dictated by the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), which is a Federal standard for milk regulations. Changes to this document can be proposed every two years during the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipment (NCIMS). Proposals are debated and voted on and must receive final approval by the Food and Drug Administration to be enacted.