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New Mexico Department of Agriculture The letters NMDA with the D internaly shapped as the state of New Mexico. Logo

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Dairy Inspections

row of cows feeding on hay.

Dairy Facilities

The Dairy Division inspects dairy farms, dairy plants, bulk milk haulers, and transport tankers. This is measured against the frequency and standards of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (2019 PDF). This model ordinance is written and maintained by the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments and is overseen by the Food and Drug Administration Milk Safety Team.


The Dairy Division collects samples of raw milk and pasteurized products from each dairy farm and dairy processing plant. This is once a month. These are analyzed for Standard Plate Count, Somatic Cell Count, Freezing Point, Beta Lactams, Residual Phosphatase, and Total Coliforms. 


Well water that is used to clean milk contact surfaces is tested for total coliforms.  Also recirculated cooling water from both dairy farms and dairy plants is tested for total coliforms. This is to ensure that water will not contaminate milk contact surfaces. This is in the event that they should come into contact.

Milk Tankers

Milk tankers are inspected to ensure that they are constructed to the requirements of the PMO.  Also to ensure that they are cleaned and sanitized a minimum of every seventy-two hours.

Bulk Haulers

Milk tanker truck drivers, or bulk milk hauler/samplers, are instructed by NMDA inspectors. This is done in a classroom setting on the proper techniques of sampling milk. It also includes the reasons why these techniques are important. A written exam is given and the applicant must pass the exam with a 70% or above.  An inspection in the field is conducted to ensure that the bulk hauler/sampler can perform the correct techniques.

Dairy Product Inspection

NMDA’s Standards & Consumer Services routinely inspects dairy products for open-dating violations. No dairy product can be offered for sale after the expiration date on the container.

Frozen dessert inspections are also conducted under this act. These include, routine and random inspections on frozen dairy desserts (ice cream, sherbet, ice milk, mellorine). There is a standard of identity for these products and we ensure they are meeting this standard.


Dustin Cox, Division Director