Milk and Dairy Unit

There are two certified dairy farm, pasteurization plant and bulk milk tanker/hauler inspectors headquartered in the Florida Parishes and 6 inspectors who are primarily Food and Drug Unit inspectors who have also cross-trained in Milk and Dairy work. We currently have two candidates in training to become State Rating Officers for the MDU. The Milk and Dairy Unit permits and inspects dairy farms, dairy plants, powdered milk plants, condensed milk plants, frozen dessert manufacturers, dairy product depots, bulk milk transport vehicles, milk hauler/samplers and milk receivers in the state.

When it comes to safe milk production, everything begins with the cow. If the dairy cow is not healthy and the udders and milking equipment are not clean when milking begins, the quality of the milk will go down, sometimes dramatically.

This is why concscientious dairymen always look out for the well-being of their herds. Cows on dairy farms are milked twice daily and the raw milk produced from those cows is transported to pasteurization plants where it is heat-treated for a proper time-temperature combination to eliminate the human pathogens that could otherwise grow in it. Both dairies and plants are vital links in the chain of milk production in Louisiana and around the world. The activities on the farm and inside processing plants are highly-regulated by both federal milk officers from the Food and Drug Administration as well as state Milk and Dairy sanitarians. These operations are covered under Part VII of Title 51 of the Louisiana Administrative Code as well as the US Pasteurized Milk Ordinance promulgated by the Public Health Service.

Only Grade A pasteurized milk is allowed to be sold to consumers in Louisiana under state law. There are good public-health reasons for this, which are discussed in greater detail under Milk and Milk Product Pasteurization, below. 



Highlighted Facts

  • In Louisiana there are 52 Grade "A" dairy farms.
  • There are 17 plants pasteurizing fluid milk (both cow and goat milk).
  • There are 7 plastics plants producing containers for milk and milk products.
  • Louisiana dairy farms produce 300,000 pounds of milk per day (35,000 gallons).
  • Louisiana fluid milk processing plants package 1,500,000 pounds of milk per day (175,000 gallons).
  • The program participated in the biennial National Conference for Interstate Milk Shipments in April 2023.
  • Currently the program follows the 2019 Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).
  • 98% of Louisiana producers are located in the Florida Parishes, and 100% of those farms are family-owned and -operated facilities.
  • Most Louisiana dairy farmers are 2nd- or 3rd-generation dairymen (and -women). 

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