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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 2. Agriculture
Agency 5. Department of Agriculture And Consumer Services
Chapter 490. Regulations Governing Grade "A" Milk
6/26/2022

2VAC5-490-50. Quality standards for milk and milk products.

A. No person may produce, provide, manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or store in the Commonwealth, or bring, send, or receive into the Commonwealth, grade A raw milk or milk product for pasteurization, ultra-pasteurization, aseptic processing and packaging, or retort processed after packaging that does not comply with the following standards:

1. The temperature of the raw milk shall be cooled to 40°F or cooler, but not frozen, within two hours after milking and the temperature after the first or any subsequent milking shall not be warmer than 50°F;

2. The bacteria count of raw cow's milk shall not exceed 50,000 bacteria per milliliter prior to commingling with any other milk; and the bacteria count of raw cow's milk that is commingled shall not exceed 300,000 bacteria per milliliter prior to pasteurization;

3. The bacteria count of raw sheep's milk, raw goat's milk, raw water buffalo's milk, or raw milk from any other hooved mammal shall not exceed 100,000 bacteria per milliliter prior to commingling with any other milk; and the bacteria count of raw sheep's milk, raw goat's milk, raw water buffalo's milk, or raw milk from any other hooved mammal that is commingled shall not exceed 300,000 bacteria per milliliter prior to pasteurization; and

4. The somatic cell count of raw cow's milk shall not exceed 500,000 somatic cells per milliliter. The somatic cell count of raw water buffalo's milk, raw sheep's milk, or raw milk from any other hooved mammal shall not exceed 750,000 somatic cells per milliliter. The somatic cell count of raw goat's milk shall not exceed 1,500,000 somatic cells per milliliter.

B. Each person who holds a grade A permit to produce raw milk for pasteurization, ultra-pasteurization, aseptic processing and packaging, or retort processed after packaging shall:

1. Offer for sale or sell no milk that has passed through any equipment if the milk-contact surfaces of the equipment are no longer visible or are covered or partially covered by an accumulation of milk solids, milk fat, cleaning compounds, or other soils. Any milk that passes through equipment, the milk-contact surfaces of which are no longer visible or are covered or partially covered by an accumulation of milk solids, milk fat, cleaning compounds, or other soils, shall be deemed adulterated (Item 10r);

2. Provide covered trash containers when individual sanitary towels are used (Item 16r);

3. Cool to 40°F or cooler (but not freeze) all raw milk for pasteurization, ultra-pasteurization, aseptic processing and packaging, or retort processed after packaging within two hours after the grade A permit holder completes milking and ensure that the temperature of the grade A permit holder's raw milk is not warmer than 50°F after the first milking or any subsequent milking. Raw milk for pasteurization that is warmer than a temperature of 50°F after the first milking or any subsequent milking shall be deemed a public health hazard and shall not be offered for sale or sold (Item 18r);

4. Agitate all raw milk for pasteurization for not less than five minutes at least once every hour; assure that the milk in the farm's bulk milk cooling or holding tank covers the agitator paddle sufficiently to facilitate proper cooling and sampling after the completion of the first milking; and abstain from selling or offering for sale milk that does not cover the agitator paddle sufficiently to facilitate proper cooling and sampling after the completion of the first milking (Item 18r);

5. Equip all farm bulk milk tanks with an approved temperature-recording device (Item 18r); and

6. Maintain the milkroom free of insects, rodents, and other animals (Item 19r).

Statutory Authority

§ 3.2-5206 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR115-05-01 § 5, eff. October 15, 1986; amended, Virginia Register Volume 3, Issue 10, eff. March 18, 1987; Volume 9, Issue 23, eff. September 8, 1993; Volume 23, Issue 20, eff. May 23, 2007; Volume 27, Issue 9, eff. December 10, 2010; Volume 31, Issue 12, eff. January 21, 2015; Volume 35, Issue 20, eff. May 27, 2019; Volume 36, Issue 14, eff. March 2, 2020.

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