Begin Main Content Area

Dairy & Dairy Product Manufacturing

Pennsylvania's Milk Sanitation Law and associated regulations govern the state's Milk Sanitation Program, and establishes mechanisms for inspections, certifications, and Interstate Milk Shippers ratings of permit holders and licensees. 

Specific Milk Sanitation program responsibilities include the following:

    • Provide for the annual training and licensing of Pennsylvania approved inspectors and complete their certification for Grade 'A' farm inspection work every 3 years.
    • Complete regulatory inspections of milk, ice-cream, cheese, and other dairy products manufacturing plants on a regular basis.
    • Complete inspections of pasteurization equipment for milk and dairy products on a regular basis.
    • Complete interstate milk shippers program ratings of Grade 'A' bulk tank units, milk plants, and single service container manufacturers every 2 years.
    • Complete regulatory inspections of milk producer quality records every 6 months and bulk milk tankers each year.
    • Complete inspections of raw milk permit holders and their required records every 3 months.
    • Complete on-site certification of milk plant samplers and bulk milk weigher/ samplers on a periodic basis.
    • Complete plan reviews for new milking systems as well as for new dairy plant construction.  Review proposed milk and dairy food labeling for approval prior to use.
    • Provide oversight for dairy farm market changes
    • Complete routine sampling and special sampling responsibilities on a monthly basis.
    • Respond to consumer complaints and assist with required recalls.
BFSLS 431 Notice of Milk Producer Action Report


Pennsylvania Weigher/Sampler Certification 

In conjunction with obtaining a Weigher/Sampler license through the PA Milk Marketing Board, individuals who perform in-field sampling of raw milk for pasteurization from bulk tanks, silos, and/or direct load systems shall obtain and maintain field certification of the sampling procedures.  The BFSLS issues this certification based on standards found in Appendix B of the latest version of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance

A list of certifications issued by the Department will be published on a quarterly basis. This certification is valid for 2 years. If your name does not appear on this list, your certification has expired by more than 1 year. Please contact the Department using the Regional Contact Map to schedule your re-certification.  

To renew a Weigher/Sampler Field Certification, contact the assigned inspector for your county.  

Pennsylvania Approved Sampler Certification 

A person certified by the Department to obtain samples of milk or milk products for analysis by a PA Approved Dairy Laboratory.  The samples obtained do not require the weighing of milk and are not subject to PMMB licensing.  These certifications do include those termed as an Industry Plant Sampler as described in the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).  *New samplers shall fill out the Milk Sampler Certification Application and utilize the same Contact Map listed above for initial contact.


Sampler Definitions:

    • Milk for Pasteurization: Samples pulled from silos or storage tanks at processing facilities OR from bulk tanks prior to ship to a processing facility for regulatory testing (may be commingled or single supply)
    • Milk Products: Bottled and/or packaged milk products (other than fluid milk) pulled for regulatory testing.
    • Pasteurized Milk: Bottled and/or packaged fluid milk products pulled for regulatory testing.
    • Frozen Desserts: Samples pulled from soft-serve ice cream dispensers for regulatory testing related to Ch.59a.21. (c) 
    • Raw Milk: Sampled pulled from bulk tanks (or possibly silos) for regulatory testing to meet the requirements of Ch. 59a. Subchapter F.
    • Single Service Containers: Samples of manufactured containers and/or closures for single or multi-use packaging in dairy processing for regulatory testing as found in Appendix J of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.

A list of certifications issued by the Department will be published on a quarterly basis. These certifications expire after 24 months (plus the remaining days of the expiration month). If your name does not appear on this list, your certification has expired by more than 1 year. Please contact the Department using the Regional Contact Map to schedule your re-certification.  


Emergency Lab Reporting Procedures

All positive official monthly and semi-annual test results are required to be reported to the Department of Agriculture immediately, by emailing the BFSLS 472 Emergency Laboratory Report Form, a copy of the positive test results and any supporting documentation applicable (i.e. bill of lading) to RA-AGLABRESULTS@pa.gov.

Screening Facilities – A copy of this report shall accompany the truck and producer samples to the confirmation location, be kept on file at the screening location, and be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture with the BFSLS 477 Appendix N Bulk Tanker Positive Drug Residue Test Report immediately upon identifying a positive result.


Pennsylvania Laboratory Evaluation Program

Please direct all inquiries related to laboratory evaluations to RA-AGMILKPROGRAM@pa.gov.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture approves commercial laboratories and milk facilities to perform tests required by current regulations. Regulatory compliance is mandatory for raw milk, pasteurized milk, other dairy products, and frozen desserts.

Entities licensed by the department that process and package pasteurized milk, dairy products, frozen dessert, raw milk permits, and producer testing, use commercial laboratories to ensure regulatory compliance.

Check out the Pennsylvania Laboratory Evaluation Program page to learn more about this program.