The North Dakota Department of Agriculture recently announced that it will not enforce a new state regulation that requires processors to transport Grade "A" milk at a temperature of 41 degrees. After discussions with IDFA, the department realized that the regulation could conflict with interstate transportation regulations and the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO).
The PMO, which is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration and used as the basis by all states for dairy laws and regulations, holds that milk may be transported safely at 45 degrees or lower.
"The North Dakota state regulators did not understand that the truck cooling systems only maintain the 'coolness' of the product, they don't cool it down," said IDFA Vice President Allen Sayler, who contacted the department after the regulation was announced. "That means that the new regulation, if enforced, would have required all dairy plants in North Dakota or plants in other states that ship milk to North Dakota to maintain a storage temperature of 41 degrees or cooler."
Sayler pointed out the variance with the PMO and argued that the lower temperature would not improve product safety but would increase the carbon footprint of these dairy plants. IDFA expects that the regulation may be rescinded within the next year.
For more information, contact Sayler at firstname.lastname@example.org.