FDA Rules and Regulations References

The dairy industry works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the safety and quality of all dairy products.  Grade A Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) is regulated by the FDA with assistance from state governments. The standards for milk production, milk hauling, pasteurization, product safety, equipment sanitation and labeling was created by the Public Health Service. Processing plants also have routine inspections to ensure quality and safety. This is a list of compliance’s mandated and regulated by the FDA.


Dairy Products Regulations:

Grades and Grade Names

  • Grading of milk manufacturers is either A or B. Grade A facilities require more stringent with health code and sanitation conditions. Grade B, or manufactured grade, is used for processed dairy items like, cheese and butter.

Terms and Conditions of Grading

  • Requires the dairy product to meet the Food and Drug Act requirements. It must be free of any contaminated or toxic substances, undamaged or tainted by vermin, does not exceed the permitted level of coliforms, and passes testing for the presence of salmonella or listeria monocytogenic organisms.

Standards for Butter, Butter Products and Cheddar Cheese

  • They shall be the foods prepared in accordance with good manufacturing practices from pasteurized milk or pasteurized milk products.

Place of Grading

  • Grading of dairy products is done in the facility of origin and both must meet all standards of good manufacturing practices.

Registration of Establishments

  • The applicants name, address, and contact information must be listed on all documentation. The documentation must state who owns the facility whether it is an individual, partnership, cooperative, or corporation. The facility name and the names of all owners, partners, officers, and directors of the establishment. The document must include the estimated amount of dairy products it will receive and produce each year. All the plans, specifications, and dimensions for the facility design must be submitted, along with sanitation programs.

Conditions Respecting Registered Establishments

  • Establishments must comply with all sanitation standards and regulations. The land the facility is located upon must be free from debris and allow for proper drainage. The facility must be of sound structural integrity. Internal structures must be of materials that comply with sanitary guidelines.

Operation and Maintenance of Registered Establishments

  • The facility equipment, utensils, and surfaces must be maintained in a sanitary condition. All notices should be placed in prominent places throughout the building. Waste must be removed daily. Proper temperature and product storage must be maintained at all times to avoid contamination. All employees must follow sanitary processes including proper hand washing and clothing.

Grade Requirements for Butter and Butter Products

  • Taste is typical and desirable, smooth texture, firm bodied, proper moisture content, uniform in color, all salt is dissolved.

Grade Requirements for Cheddar Cheese

  • Flavor and aroma are typical and desirable, body is compact and firm, texture is smooth, surface is clean smooth and unbroken, coloration is consistent, finished cheeses are uniform in size and shape.

Grade Requirements for Dry Milk Products

  • Must be uniform in color and composition, free of hard lumps, light in color, does not contain pH adjusting agent, when reconstituted it has a desirable flavor and odor.


  • Must be free from odors, protect dairy product from moisture loss, damage, contamination, deterioration, and close securely. Containers must be clean and sound. Packaging must follow good manufacturing practices.


  • Labeling should be easily legible and prominent. Must contain the common name of the product declares the process of manufacture, net contents, cheese must declare fat and milk content, declare milk fat percentage, salted or unsalted, whether it is cultured, list of ingredients, name and country of origin, durable life date, and proper storage instructions.