For Federal, State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Officials

FDA Grade "A" Milk Safety Program

How does FDA work with states to protect the milk supply?

The FDA's Cooperative Milk Safety Program provides assistance to state and local regulatory agencies in the prevention of communicable diseases and the implementation and enforcement of regulations related to the production and distribution of Grade "A" milk and milk products for human consumption.

Under the Grade A Milk Safety program, FDA is responsible for:

  • Promoting the adoption, implementation, and enforcement of regulatory standards as provided in the Model Grade "A" Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).

  • Standardizing and certification of state and local regulatory personnel.

  • Quarterly publication of compliance and enforcement ratings.

  • State and local regulatory personnel training.

  • Assistance to laboratory personnel, industry, and academia.

  • Check-ratings and single-service audits for sanitation compliance of listed shippers.

  • Interpretations.

  • Evaluation and approval of milk laboratories.

  • The biennial evaluation of state milk control programs.

What is the relationship between FDA and the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS)?

FDA's State Cooperative Milk Safety Program was established under a MOU, signed in 1977, between the FDA Commissioner and the NCIMSdisclaimer icon. This MOU delineates both FDA's and the states' responsibilities as listed in the Procedures Governing the Cooperative State-Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration Program of the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments. The NCIMS and FDA assure uniformity through this MOU with the adoption and uniform enforcement of the PMO. All states and Puerto Rico, as well as some countries such as Canada, Colombia, and Mexico, are members of the NCIMS and follow the PMO or equivalent regulations. The NCIMS fosters and promotes Grade “A” milk and milk products sanitation through the cooperation of federal and state agencies, industry, and the academic community. 

Where can I find more information on FDA's Milk Safety Program?

Specific questions regarding the Milk Safety Program can be directed to Belinda Esquivel-Clifton at within the Office of Partnerships' Standards Implementation Staff.

You can also search for PHS/FDA Milk Specialist contact information as the primary contact for states in the field.

General questions can be directed to the Office of Partnerships' general mailbox: contact:  

To access Grade "A" Milk Safety resource materials, go to Resources. For further information, you can access the links below:




Page Last Updated: 06/06/2017
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