University of Maryland Extension

Dairy

FDA and USDA regulate dairy farms and milk. Milk producers, milk haulers, and milk processors are licensed separately, although they may be the same business.

In Maryland, dairy businesses are licensed and inspected by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene - Office of Food Protection and Consumer Health Services - Division of Milk Control. DHMH Division of Milk Control issues a Milk Processing Plant - Milk Processor license. Regulations for the Division of Milk Control are specified in the FDA Pasteurized Milk Ordinance. There is no Division of Milk Control at the county level because of the technical expertise required.

Dairy farms in Maryland may bottle milk and process other Grade A dairy products.

DHMH licenses value-added dairy products. Butter and yogurt require a Grade A Processor license, cheese requires a Manufacturer Grade Processor license, and ice cream requires a Frozen Dessert license. All dairy products must be produced from pasteurized milk. However, DHMH has launched a Farmstead Cheese Pilot Study Program for producers who make cheese from raw milk aged at least 60 days.

Maryland does not allow raw milk sales.

Regulatory Resources:

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

USDA

EPA

Business Development Resources

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