Dairy Farms and Dairy Plants

The safety of the milk and milk products enjoyed by New Hampshire citizens begins at the farm level. Milk producers take care to ensure their products are of good quality when they leave the farms. It is the role of the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program to monitor the production of raw milk.

Milk Production at the Farm

All dairy farms that sell milk to processing plants are required to hold permits issued by the Department of Health and Human Services. Food Protection's Dairy Sanitation Licensing and Inspection Program inspects these dairy farms at least once every six months to make sure the conditions on the farms meet New Hampshire standards. Samples of milk and water are collected and tested to check quality.

Milk Pasteurization Plants

Milk pasteurization plants provide a critical step to ensure the safety of the milk and milk products available to New Hampshire citizens. These milk plants may produce fluid milk, yogurt, cheese or ice cream. All milk plants located within New Hampshire are required to be licensed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program inspects the milk plants regularly to make sure the plants comply with all regulations. The Program also conducts complicated tests on milk pasteurizers at least once every 3 months to ensure the milk and milk products are processed and handled properly. Samples of pasteurized milk and milk products are collected and tested to check for quality and proper pasteurization.

Both milk plant inspection and farm inspection are standardized under a national cooperative program that includes all fifty states, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the dairy industry.

Dairy Licensing & Applications

Food Protection's Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program provides licensing and regulation of milk producers, milk processors, distributors and producer/distributors, bulk milk haulers and milk routes located in New Hampshire, and licensing of milk processors, distributors and producer/distributors located outside the state whose products are sold in New Hampshire.

Farmers applying for a milk producer permit must:

  • Own or control one or more cows, goats or sheep and either sell the milk to a licensed milk processor or process the milk at a licensed facility on their farm;
  • Comply with all applicable requirements in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184, New Hampshire Administrative Rules Mil 300 and He-P 2700 and the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance as determined by a pre-permitting sanitary inspection;
  • Submit a completed milk producer permit application which is reviewed and approved by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program; and
  • Continue to comply with all applicable regulations as determined by sanitary inspections conducted at least once every 6 months.

Pre-permitting consultation is provided at the request of the applicant and is strongly recommended by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program. Once issued, milk producer permits remain in effect until 6 months after the dairy operation ceases unless the permit is revoked. Permits are not transferable with regards to persons or locations.

In-state milk processors and producer/distributors applying for a milk sanitation license must:

  • Own or operate a milk processing facility or meet the definition in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184 of a producer/distributor;
  • Comply with all applicable requirements in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184, New Hampshire Administrative Rules Mil 300 and He-P 2700 and the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance as determined by a pre-licensing sanitary inspection;
  • Submit a completed milk sanitation license application which is reviewed and approved by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program; and
  • Continue to comply with all applicable regulations as determined by testing of milk and milk product samples and sanitary inspections conducted at least once every 3 months.

Pre-licensing consultation is provided at the request of the applicant and is strongly recommended by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program.

Out-of-state milk processors and producer/distributors applying for a milk sanitation license must:

  • Comply with all applicable requirements in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184 and New Hampshire Administrative Rules He-P 2700; and
  • Submit a completed milk sanitation license application that is reviewed and approved by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program.

Milk distributors applying for a milk sanitation license must:

  • Comply with all applicable requirements in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184 and New Hampshire Administrative Rules He-P 2700; and
  • Submit a completed milk sanitation license application that is reviewed and approved by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program.

All milk sanitation licenses expire on January 1st after the year of issuance, unless revoked. Licenses are not transferable with regards to persons or locations.

Bulk Milk Haulers applying for a Bulk Milk Hauler license must:

  • Comply with all applicable requirements in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184 and New Hampshire Administrative Rules He-P 2700; and
  • Submit a completed bulk milk hauler license application that is reviewed and approved by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program.

All bulk milk hauler licenses remain in effect for a period of 2 years and be renewed biennially during the month of January.

Milk route permit applicants must:

  • Comply with all applicable requirements in New Hampshire Statute RSA 184 and New Hampshire Administrative Rules He-P 2700; and
  • Submit a completed milk route permit application that is reviewed and approved by the Dairy Sanitation Inspection and Licensing Program.

All milk route permits expire on August 1st after the year of issuance.

Dairy Sanitation Statutes and Rules