An Overview of U.S. State Milk Laws
Compiled by Pete Kennedy, Esq.
As of March 1, 2018
Page 3: Massachusetts–New Jersey
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The state legislature has granted the power to city and town boards of health to determine whether raw milk sales are legal. If the local board of health makes raw milk sales legal, farmers must follow state regulations on the production and sale of raw milk, including the following:
- A five day maximum period for the sale of retail raw milk commencing from the time the farmer fills the container. Each container of retail raw milk must indicate the last date on which the container may be offered for sale.
- The farmer shall label the product “Raw cow’s milk” or “Raw goat’s milk” and the label shall include the name, address, and zip code of the producing farm.
- All retail containers of raw milk shall have the following warning on the label:”Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health.”
- A sign must be posted in the area where the raw milk is sold, stating “Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health.”
Raw milk sales are legal on the farm. The Department of Agricultural Resources regulates onfarm sales.
Like dairy farmers selling raw milk to pasteurization plants, farmers selling retail raw milk must obtain a vendor’s license from the milk inspector in the town nearest to their farm. Farmers who sell twenty quarts of milk a day or less are exempt from this requirement. All farmers selling raw milk need to obtain a certificate of registration from the Commissioner of Food and Agriculture, no matter how little milk they actually sell.
General Laws of Massachusetts
PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XV REGULATION OF TRADE
CHAPTER 94 INSPECTION AND SALE OF FOOD, DRUGS AND VARIOUS ARTICLES
MILK AND CREAM.
G. L. c. 94, § 16J. Rules for handling and sale of milk.
Section 16J. Boards of health of cities and towns may establish, amend or repeal rules and regulations for the handling and sale of milk within said cities and towns; provided, that such rules and regulations shall be consistent with those established pursuant to sections twelve and thirteen.
Code of Massachusetts Regulations
330 CMR: DEPARTMENT OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
330 CMR 27.00: STANDARDS AND SANITATION REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADE A RAW MILK
(D) Date. The date on the container of retail raw milk shall indicate the last date on which the container may be offered for sale. There shall be a five day maximum period for the sale of retail raw milk which shall commence from the time of filling. Said five day maximum period may be shortened by the Commissioner if she/he deems such modification to be in the best interest of the consumer.
(E) Labeling. The name of the product is Raw Cow’s Milk or Raw Goat’s Milk and shall be so plainly labeled. The label shall contain the name, address and zip code of the producing farm.
(F) Consumer Warning Statement
(1) All retail containers of raw cow’s or raw goat’s milk shall be conspicuously labeled with the following statement: “Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health”. The minimum size of the printed words shall not be less than 1/16 inch in height, with the words “not pasteurized” being not less that 1/8 inch in height or twice the height of any other lettering in the label, whichever is greater.
(2) A sign must be posted in the area where the raw milk is sold and placed in a location where it can be easily observed by anyone entering therein. Such sign shall not be less than eight by eleven inches in total dimension and shall display the following statement: “Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health.” The minimum size of the printed words shall not be less than 1/2 inch in height, with the words “not pasteurized” being not less than one inch in height.
General Laws of Massachusetts
PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE XV REGULATION OF TRADE
CHAPTER 94 INSPECTION AND SALE OF FOOD, DRUGS AND VARIOUS ARTICLES
MILK AND CREAM.
G. L. c. 94, § 40. License to sell milk; contents; display.
Section 40. No person, except a producer or dealer selling milk to other than consumers, or selling not more than twenty quarts per day to consumers, shall deliver, exchange, expose for sale or sell or have in his custody or possession with intent so to do any milk or cream in any town where an inspector of milk is appointed, without obtaining from such inspector a license which shall contain the number thereof, the name and place of business.
Raw milk sales are illegal for human and animal consumption. The state is aware of at least four cow share programs that currently exist. While the state department of agriculture has not approved of any of the cow share programs, they have not tried to shut any of them down.
Michigan Compiled Laws
CHAPTER 288 DAIRY INDUSTRY
288.538 Pasteurized milk and milk products required for sale or offering to consumer; exceptions.
(1) Only pasteurized milk and milk products shall be offered for sale or sold, directly or indirectly, to the final consumer or to restaurants, grocery stores, or similar establishments.
(2) All milk and milk products shall be pasteurized according to the requirements of the pasteurized milk ordinance and the time-temperature relationships described in the pasteurized milk ordinance.
(3) All dairy plant by-products used for feeding purposes for farm animals shall be pasteurized or be derived from pasteurized products.
The Department of Agriculture prohibits the sale of raw dairy with the exception of “milk, cream, skim milk, goat milk, or sheep milk occasionally secured or purchased for personal use by any consumer at the place or farm where the milk is produced.” The farmer cannot advertise and customers must bring their own containers. The state interprets “occasionally secured or purchased for personal use” to mean that farmers cannot sell raw milk to regular customers on a routine basis.
The Minnesota Constitution states that “any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefore.” The Minnesota statutes also contain this exemption. The state interprets this provision to apply to produce farmers and their right to sell on site and at farmer’s markets without a license. The department does not apply the licensing exemption laws to raw milk farmers with the limited exception of occasional sales to consumers on the farm. Several farmers are contesting the department’s interpretation of the licensing exemption laws.
CHAPTER 32 DAIRY PRODUCTS
32.393 Limitation on sale.
Subdivision 1. Pasteurization. No milk, fluid milk products, goat milk, or sheep milk shall be sold, advertised, offered or exposed for sale or held in possession for sale for the purpose of human consumption in fluid form in this state unless the same has been pasteurized and cooled, as defined in section 32.391; provided, that this section shall not apply to milk, cream, skim milk, goat milk, or sheep milk occasionally secured or purchased for personal use by any consumer at the place or farm where the milk is produced.
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA
ARTICLE XIII MISCELLANEOUS SUBJECTS
Sec. 7. NO LICENSE REQUIRED TO PEDDLE. Any person may sell or peddle the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor.
CHAPTER 28A LICENSING FOOD HANDLERS
28A. 15 Exclusions.
Subdivision 1. Licensing provisions applicability. The licensing provisions of sections 28A. 01 to 28A. 16 shall not apply to the following:
Subd. 2. Sales by farmers; others not in food business. Persons selling the products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by them, or to persons not regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing and selling food and who prepare food only on order of and for sale directly to the ultimate consumer, or to educational, charitable or religious organizations not regularly engaged in the business of manufacturing, processing, or selling food at their established educational, charitable or religious institutions.
On-farm sales of raw goat milk are legal if the selling farm has no more than nine milk producing goats lactating on it. The farmer cannot advertise and must sell directly to the consumer.
Mississippi Code of 1972
TITLE 75 REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE AND INVESTMENTS
CHAPTER 31 Milk and Milk Products
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
§ 75-31-65. Regulation of milk and milk products by State Board of Health.
(3) Incidental sales of raw goat milk shall be legal if:
(a) The milk is sold directly to the consumer on the premises where the milk is produced;
(b) No more than nine (9) producing goats are located on the premises where the milk is produced;
(c) The person selling the milk does not advertise the milk for sale; and
(d) The following conditions, which apply to the milking of goats involved in legal incidental sales of raw goat milk, are satisfied:
(i) The milking takes place in a clean environment on a cement or comparable floor;
(ii) The milking place is enclosed by a wall and/or a screen to prevent insects from entering the milking area;
(iii) A fly strap is located in the milking area; and
(iv) Sterile containers are used in the milking process and for storage.
It shall not be unlawful to store raw goat milk in a separate sterile place from pasteurized goat milk. The Cooperative Extension Service at Alcorn State University shall publish and make available literature on the requirements of this subsection, and other related milk-goat maintenance, explaining the recommended care of milk goats and the process of goat milk production and other related subjects. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “incidental sales” means sales from a farm where not more than nine (9) goats are producing milk.
Farmers can sell raw milk and cream to the final consumer either on the farm or through delivery without being required to have a permit. Those interested in selling raw milk and cream other than on-farm or through delivery (e.g., farmers markets) must obtain a retail raw milk permit from the state and must have state approved bottling equipment on the premises. In addition, farmers with a retail raw milk permit must comply with state labeling regulations for raw milk and raw milk
TITLE XII PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE
Chapter 196 FOOD, DRUGS AND TOBACCO
FLUID MILK AND FLUID MILK PRODUCTS
196.935. State milk inspection required on all graded fluid milk or milk products pasteurization required, exception.
No person shall sell, offer for sale, expose for sale, transport, or deliver any graded fluid milk or graded fluid milk products in this state unless the milk or milk products are graded and produced, transported, processed, manufactured, distributed, labeled and sold under state milk inspection and the same has also been produced or pasteurized as required by a regulation authorized by section 196.939 and under proper permits issued thereunder. Only pasteurized graded fluid milk and fluid milk products as defined in subdivision (3) of section 196.931 shall be sold to the final consumer, or to restaurants, soda fountains, grocery stores, or similar establishments; except an individual may purchase and have delivered to him for his own use raw milk or cream from a farm.
Title 2 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Division 80 State Milk Board
Chapter 3 Production and Distribution of Grade A Retail Raw Milk and Milk Products
2 CSR 80-3.030 Permits
1) Every producer-distributor producing and distributing Grade A retail raw milk under terms of these regulations shall secure a permit from the state authority. Only a person who complies with the requirements of these regulations shall be entitled to receive and retain such a permit. Permits shall not be transferable with respect to persons, locations, or both.
2 CSR 80-3.070 The Grading of Milk and Milk Products
PURPOSE: This rule provides standards which Grade A retail raw milk and milk products must meet. This rule was previously known as Section 7.
25. Bottling and capping. Milk and milk products not for pasteurization shall be bottled on the farm where produced. Bottling and capping shall be done in a sanitary manner by means of approved equipment and these operations shall be integral in one (1) machine. Caps or cap stock shall be purchased in sanitary containers and shall be kept in a clean, dry place until used.
2 CSR 80-3.040 Labeling
PURPOSE: This rule provides regulations for the proper labeling of Grade A retail raw milk or milk products. This rule was previously known as Section 4.
(1) All bottles and other containers enclosing milk, skim milk or cream as defined in 2 CSR 80-3.010 shall be plainly labeled with the name of the contents as given in the definition of these regulations; the word raw; the grade of the contents; and the name and address of the producer-distributor.
(2) The label shall be in letters of an approved size, kind and color, and shall contain no marks or words which are misleading.
Raw milk sales are illegal. The state issued retail raw milk licenses until 1998 when a number of illnesses blamed on raw milk consumption led to the current ban.
Montana Administrative Rules
TITLE 32 DEPARTMENT OF LIVESTOCK
CHAPTER 8 FLUID MILK AND GRADE A MILK PRODUCTS
Sub-Chapter 1 Fluid Milk and Grade A Milk Products
32.8.102 MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS WHICH MAY BE SOLD
(1) The only milk and milk products which may be sold to the final consumer, to restaurants, soda fountains, grocery stores or similar establishments are:
(a) Grade A pasteurized milk and milk products produced and processed according to the terms of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance.
32. 8.103 RAW MILK MAY NOT BE SOLD FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION
(1) No retail raw milk dairies will be licensed to sell Grade A raw milk for public consumption.
On-farm sales of raw milk and cream to consumers are legal. Farmers cannot advertise.
If a farmer’s business involves only on-farm sales of raw milk, the farmer does not have to obtain a permit and is not subject to state milk regulations.
Nebraska Revised Statutes
CHAPTER 2. AGRICULTURE.
ARTICLE 39 MILK
(a) Nebraska Pasteurized Milk Law.
(3) Milk and milk products produced by farmers exclusively for sale at the farm directly to customers for consumption and not for resale shall be exempt from the Nebraska Pasteurized Milk Law.
Section 2-3903 has been amended by Legislative Bill 111 of 2007 (approved 2/14/07) to read :
(3) Milk and cream produced by farmers exclusively for sale at the farm directly to customers for consumption and not for resale shall be exempt from the Nebraska Milk Act.
Raw milk sales are legal but, in practice, there are no raw milk sales in the state.
In order for a farmer to obtain a permit from the state dairy commission to produce and distribute raw milk, the county milk commission must first certify the farm for the production of raw milk or a raw milk product.
Under state statute, the board of county commissioners must establish the county milk commission. The county must issue regulations governing the production and distribution of raw milk and raw milk products. These regulations are not valid unless the State Board of Health and the State Dairy Commission first approve them.
There has never been a county milk commission in existence at any time, so to this point, there has been a de facto prohibition of raw milk sales.
There is a state law that permits the sale of raw milk and raw milk products produced out of state if the producer follows the relevant Nevada statutory requirements. However, one of the requirements is that the milk and milk products receive an acceptable milk sanitation, compliance and enforcement rating from a state milk sanitation rating officer certified by the United States Public Health Service. The U. S. P. H. S. would not certify a state employee who did not comply with the provisions of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. The PMO bans the sale of unpasteurized milk to the final consumer.
Nevada Administrative Code
CHAPTER 584 DAIRY PRODUCTS AND SUBSTITUTES
NAC 584.2031 Permit to produce certified raw milk. (NRS 584.067, 584.210)
1. After a county milk commission has certified a facility for the production of certified raw milk or a product made from it, the state dairy commission will inspect the facility. If the facility fully complies with this section, the state dairy commission will issue a permit to operate the facility
TITLE 51 FOOD AND OTHER COMMODITIES: PURITY; STANDARDS; WEIGHTS AND MEASURES; MARKETING
CHAPTER 584 DAIRY PRODUCTS AND SUBSTITUTES
MILK AND CREAM
PERMIT FOR SALE
NRS 584.207 Certified raw milk: Definition; county milk commission.
1. Certified raw milk is unpasteurized, marketed milk which conforms to the regulations and standards adopted by the county milk commission for the production and distribution of certified raw milk and certified raw milk products in the county in which they are produced.
2. In each county in which certified raw milk or certified raw milk products are produced for public consumption, there must be a county milk commission to regulate the production and distribution of those products. The board of county commissioners shall appoint to the commission three members for terms of 4 years, all of whom are eligible for reappointment. The members must all be residents of the county and have the following respective qualifications:
(a) One member must be a physician licensed in this state and a member of the medical society of the state;
(b) One member must be a veterinarian licensed in this state and a member of the county or regional veterinarian association; and
(c) One member must be a representative of the public at large.
3. A county milk commission shall:
(a) Elect one of its members as chairman and adopt appropriate rules to govern:
(1) The time and place of its meetings;
(2) Its rules of procedure; and
(3) Its recordkeeping and other internal operations.
(b) Adopt written regulations, which must be approved by the State Dairy Commission, governing the production, distribution and sale in the county of certified raw milk and products made from it, to protect the public health and safety and the integrity of the product. The regulations so adopted must conform as nearly as practicable to, but may be more stringent than, the standards adopted by the American Association of Medical Milk Commissions.
NRS 584.205 Commission to direct periodic inspections of facilities of permittees; sale of imported milk and milk products without inspection; authority of Commission to conduct inspections upon reasonable belief of violation of regulations.
2. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 584.208 and the regulations adopted pursuant to that section, milk and milk products, including certified raw milk and products made from it, imported from outside the State of Nevada may be sold in this state without inspection by the Commission if the requirements of paragraph (c) and the requirements of paragraph (a) or (b) are met:
(a) In the case of certified raw milk and products made from it, they have been produced under standards adopted by the American Association of Medical Milk Commissions and under the statutory provisions of the State of California applicable to such products.
(b) The milk and milk products have been produced, pasteurized, processed, transported and inspected under statutes or regulations substantially equivalent to the Nevada milk and milk products statutes and regulations.
(c) The milk and milk products have been awarded an acceptable milk sanitation, compliance and enforcement rating by a state milk sanitation rating officer certified by the United States Public Health Service.
Raw milk sales are legal:
- On the farm
- Through home delivery
- Through the final consumer purchasing directly from a milk pasteurization plant.
- At a boarding house provided that the milk is produced on the premises and the boarding house dining room displays a sign stating that raw milk is served therein.
Even though a state statute permits the sale of raw milk in retail stores, the Department of Health and Human Services prohibits this because of a New Hampshire administrative regulation that requires food service establishments and retail food stores to sell only pasteurized fluid milk and fluid milk products.
Raw milk producers who sell less than an average of twenty quarts of milk per day do not have to obtain a license from the state. They are not subject to state inspection either unless they sell to a milk plant.
New Hampshire Statutes
TITLE XIV. MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS
CHAPTER 184 INSPECTION AND SALE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS
Milk for Drinking
184:30-a Pasteurization Required.
No milk or milk products as defined in RSA 184:79 shall be sold, offered for sale or served unless pasteurized. This shall not serve to prohibit the direct sale of raw milk or cream from the producer; store or milk pasteurization plant to the final consumer, or milk or cream from a producer to stores, nor the serving of raw milk at bona fide boarding houses where the milk is produced on the premises, provided that in the dining room of such boarding houses a sign is prominently displayed stating that such raw milk is served therein, nor the sale, within the state, of cheese made from raw milk when such cheese has been aged a minimum of 60 days at a temperature above 35 degrees Fahrenheit, and is clearly labeled as unpasteurized.
Code of New Hampshire Rules
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES FORMER DIVISION OF PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES
CHAPTER He-P 2300 SANITARY PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD
PART He-P 2303 CONDITION AND SOURCES OF FOOD
He-P 2303. 01 Condition.
(g) Only the following milk products shall be acceptable for sale or use:
(1) Pasteurized fluid milk and fluid milk products
184:84 License Required.
III. It shall be unlawful for any producer-distributor to sell or offer for sale milk or milk products within the state unless he shall possess a producer-distributor’s license from the commissioner.
184:79 Terms Defined.
XI. The term “producer-distributor” is a milk producer who is also a milk distributor and sells more than an average of 20 quarts of milk a day.
XIII. The term “milk plant” means any place, premises, or establishment where milk or milk products are collected, handled, processed, stored, pasteurized, bottled, packaged, or prepared for distribution, except an establishment where milk or milk products are sold at retail only.
Raw milk sales are illegal.
New Jersey Statutes
TITLE 24 FOOD AND DRUGS
SUBTITLE 1. FOOD AND DRUGS
CHAPTER 10 DAIRY PRODUCTS
ARTICLE 6. PASTEURIZATION
24:10-57.17. Pasteurization required
No person shall sell, offer for sale, or distribute to the ultimate consumer any milk or cream that is not pasteurized.
Pete Kennedy is a Florida attorney who has worked on issues governing raw milk production and distribution since 2004. He compiled a summary of raw milk laws in each of the fifty states and is currently a consultant for WAPF on, among other things, policies and laws regarding raw milk. Pete was a founding board member of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund (FTCLDF) and served as vice president and then president for many years. He has consulted on and drafted raw milk, cottage foods, and food sovereignty legislation; drafted and reviewed herdshare agreements; worked on embargo, seizure, and recall cases involving raw dairy products; worked on foodborne illness outbreaks attributed to raw milk consumption; handled issues involving on-farm slaughter, custom meat, and poultry processing as well as problems with zoning and local ordinances.