February 15, 2002


 Dairy farm inspectional area clarified

Posted Jan. 15, 2002

The Food and Drug Administration has provided guidance about what constitutes the inspectional area of a Grade A dairy farm in relationship to drug storage, labeling, and use.

It is important that drugs are stored in areas where they may be reviewed during routine inspections, state ratings, and FDA check ratings. Such review provides verification that proper labeling and storage criteria, required under Item 15r of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance, are in compliance.

The FDA has consistently defined that the inspection of Grade A dairy farms includes the milk house, milking barn, stable or parlor, adjacent storage areas, cow yard and cattle housing areas, surroundings, waste disposal areas, and the water supply and its distribution system.

These areas also may include dairy maternity areas, animal treatment areas or hospital barns, replacement heifer areas, offices, utility rooms, tool sheds, or other areas where drugs used treat dairy animals may be used or stored.

Regarding drug storage, labeling, and use, the scope of the dairy farm operation/inspection extends beyond the milk house, milking barn, or parlor. The FDA believes the following areas are part of the milking operation: any area reasonably expected to contain drugs used to treat lactating cattle, cattle that may soon be placed in or returned to a milking herd, or other cattle intended for milk production.

Private residences and vehicles are not included without the permission of the owner or their authorized agent.

The FDA has previously issued the guidance during regional milk seminars and dairy farm training courses.