Raw Milk Nation ©
STATUTES — REGULATIONS — LEGISLATION — RECENT HISTORY
Raw milk sales are legal on the farm and in retail stores. In order to operate legally farmers must obtain producer permits and raw milk retailer permits from the State Agriculture Commissioner. Additionally, they may have to obtain a milk dealer license from the public health board of the town or city where their farms are located.
The state Milk Regulation Board has issued a regulation on the quality standards for retail raw milk. The state does not charge any fees for the testing required to ensure the quality of the milk. Notwithstanding the quality standard regulation, towns and cities have the power to ban the sale of retail raw milk. At the present time, only two towns have done so.
Connecticut legally recognizes herdshares or “shared animal ownership agreements”. A shared ownership agreement is defined as any contractual arrangement in which a person requires ownership in a milk producing animal, has agreed to pay or reimburse another for the care and board of the animal, and is entitled to receive a share of the raw milk produced by the animal.
Herdshares or “shared animal ownership agreements” are legal regardless of whether the producer has a permit.
TITLE 22 AGRICULTURE. DOMESTIC ANIMALS
CHAPTER 430 MILK AND MILK PRODUCTS [link]
Sec. 22-133. Regulations of Milk Regulation Board. [link]
To assure the consumers of the state milk products of at least standard quality, and to assure to the residents of Connecticut an adequate and regular supply of such milk at all times, the Milk Regulation Board shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, which may include, but not be limited to, definitions, standards of identity, production, transportation, processing, handling, sampling, examination, grading, labeling, regrading and sale of milk and milk products. The Milk Regulation Board may adopt regulations which incorporate by reference the provisions of the federal Pasteurized Milk Ordinance promulgated by the United States Food and Drug Administration provided such regulations shall be consistent with any regulations adopted under section 22-211a, and further provided such regulations may by reference specifically incorporate any future amendment to said ordinance. The board may by regulation establish standards for inspection of the facilities and processes necessary for the production, handling, storage and manufacture of retail raw milk, retail raw milk cheese, butter, cheese, dry milk, whey, concentrated milk, condensed milk, single service fluid milk enclosures and milk products. In exercising its authority, the board shall consider . . .
- and (6) ingredient and nutrition labeling requirements, the necessity for clearly distinguishing retail raw milk, cheeses, nonstandardized milk products, whole milk, low-fat milk and skimmed milk in the labeling of such milk so as to prevent confusion, deception and misrepresentation.
Sec. 22-172. Registration of producers. Permits. Penalty. [link]
(a) Any person, firm or corporation engaged in the production of milk in Connecticut, which milk or the products thereof are to be used or disposed of elsewhere than on the premises where such milk is to be produced, and any person, firm or corporation engaged in the production of milk outside Connecticut for sale within Connecticut, shall register with the Commissioner of Agriculture in a manner prescribed, and on forms furnished, by the commissioner for such registration. Such registration shall be renewed annually, during the first six months of the calendar year.
(b) Milk shall not be used, sold or disposed of away from the dairy farm located in Connecticut without a permit from the commissioner. Milk shall not be sold directly or indirectly into Connecticut from a dairy farm located outside Connecticut without a permit from the commissioner.
(c) Such permits shall be designated “Dairy Farm or Milk Producer Permit” and may be suspended or revoked by the commissioner for cause
Sec. 22-173a. Registration of retail raw milk producers and retail raw milk cheese manufacturers. Denial, suspension and revocation of permits. Cheese manufacturing. Regulations. [link]
(a) No person, firm or corporation shall engage in the production of retail raw milk or the manufacture of retail raw milk cheese, which milk or retail raw milk cheese or the products thereof are to be used or disposed of elsewhere than on the premises where such milk or retail raw milk cheese is produced, without first registering with the Commissioner of Agriculture in a manner prescribed and on forms furnished by the commissioner for such registration. Such registration may be renewed annually not later than the thirtieth day of June. The commissioner shall establish fees for such registration pursuant to section 22-128a.
(b) Registrations required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be designated “Retail Raw Milk Producer Permit” or “Raw Milk Cheese Manufacturer Permit” and may be denied, suspended or revoked by the commissioner for cause.
(c) Retail raw milk shall only be offered for sale in its unprocessed state, with no ingredients added or removed.
(d) The manufacturing of cheese from unpasteurized milk shall be conducted only on premises and by firms or individuals authorized by the commissioner to produce retail raw milk.
(e) The Milk Regulation Board shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, establishing standards for sanitation, production, sale, labeling, handling and storage of retail raw milk and the manufacture of raw milk cheeses.
Sec. 22-167. Local regulations for the sale of milk. [link]
No provision of section 22-133 shall affect the authority of any town, city or borough to enact ordinances concerning the sale or distribution, within its limits, of milk which may be detrimental to public health. In any town, city or borough where no local system of milk and cream control is provided for by charter, the local director of health or board of health may present, at a meeting of the electors warned and held for such purpose, proposed rules and regulations concerning the inspection of dairies and the production, care, handling, marketing or sale of milk or cream, the protection of the public from the use of milk or cream which may be detrimental to the public health and the granting of licenses to milk dealers.
Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies [link]
Title 22 – Agriculture. Domestic Animals
Department of Agriculture
(Adopted effective October 1, 2005; Repealed Sec. 22-133-104—22-133-113d.)
Sec. 22-133-124. Retail raw milk, production, cooling, storage and cleaning. Standards
(a) The procedures, handling, equipment and facilities used in the production and handling of retail raw milk shall comply with section 22-133-115(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, except as modified by sections 22-133-124 through 22-133-131 inclusive of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
(b) Retail raw milk shall be cooled to forty degrees (40) Fahrenheit or less within three hours of the completion of milking. The blend temperature after the first milking and subsequent milkings shall not exceed fifty (50) degrees Fahrenheit.
(c) Retail raw milk shall be kept cooled to a temperature of forty degrees (40) Fahrenheit or less until delivered to the consumer.
(d) Each tank or bulk storage container shall be cleaned and sanitized every forty-eight hours.
Sec. 22-133-125. Retail raw milk. Herd health. Standards
(a) Retail raw milk producers shall maintain a current and ongoing patient/client relationship with an accredited large animal veterinarian licensed to practice in the State of Connecticut.
(b) Herds shall be tested annually for brucellosis and tuberculosis. Such testing shall be conducted in accordance with sections 22-287, 22-298 and 22-304 of the Connecticut General Statutes.
(c) The milk ring test for the detection of Brucella spp. shall be administered monthly to each herd.
(d) Each herd producing retail raw milk shall be enrolled in the Connecticut Plan for the Eradication of Mastitis.
(e) The results of all herd testing required by this section shall be reported to the Commissioner.
Sec. 22-133-126. Retail raw milk handler. Health standards
(a) The personnel health of retail raw milk handlers and the procedures used to prevent the transmission of diseases that are transmissible through food shall conform to sections 13 and 14 of the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), Recommendations of the United States Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration, as amended from time to time.
(b) Any retail raw milk handler with a communicable disease is prohibited from handling retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese, equipment that may come in direct contact with retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese, or from milking aged animals.
Sec. 22-133-127. Retail raw milk, filling, capping and container. Standards
(a) Retail raw milk producers with a daily production of two hundred fifty pounds (250) or less shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) All workers filling and capping shall wear hair covering and wash hands immediately prior to starting the filling operation;
(2) Multiple use containers shall be washed, sanitized and drained no more than four hours prior to filling. Washing and sanitizing may be done in a three compartment sink or other apparatus acceptable to the commissioner;
(3) Single service caps shall be sanitized immediately prior to use;
(4) Filling shall be done using suitable stainless steel piping equipped with a positive shutoff valve. No dipping or ladling is permitted;
(5) During filling, the pouring lip of the container shall be protected from overhead contamination by the use of a drip deflector installed on the filling device;
(6) The exterior of filled and capped containers shall be rinsed with potable water or potable water treated with a sanitizer;
(7) Each filled container shall have the label affixed and the last sale date stamped or otherwise applied to the container before being transferred to a cooler or customer;
(8) Wet storage of filled containers is not permitted; and
(9) The storage and construction of caps and containers shall conform to section 22-133-115(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
(b) Retail raw producers with a daily production of greater than two hundred fifty pounds (250) shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) Filling and capping shall be done in a sanitary manner using a mechanical device approved by the commissioner;
(2) All workers filling and capping shall wear hair covering and wash hands immediately prior to starting the filling operation;
(3) Multiple use containers shall be washed, sanitized and drained no more than four hours prior to filling. Washing and sanitizing may be done in a three compartment sink or other apparatus acceptable to the commissioner;
(4) The pouring lip of the container shall be protected from overhead contamination;
(5) The exterior of filled and capped containers shall be rinsed with potable water or potable water treated with a sanitizer;
(6) Each filled container shall have the label affixed and the last sale date stamped or otherwise applied to the container before being transferred to a cooler or customer;
(7) Wet storage of filled containers is not permitted; and
(8) The storage and construction of caps and containers shall conform to section 22-133-115(a) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
Sec. 22-133-129. Retail raw milk and retail raw milk cheese. Quality standards
(a) The standard plate count of retail raw milk shall not exceed thirty thousand (30,000) colonies per milliliter.
(b) The thermoduric bacteria count (lab pasteurized count) of retail raw milk shall not exceed one thousand (1,000) colonies per milliliter.
(c) The somatic cell count of retail raw milk shall conform to the standards established in section 7, Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), Recommendations of the United States Public Health Service/Food and Drug Administration, as amended from time to time.
(d) The coliform bacteria count of retail raw milk shall not exceed fifty (50) per milliliter.
(e) There shall be no detectable presence of human pathogens in retail raw milk and retail raw milk cheese, including, but not limited to: Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli O157:H7, Clostridium botulinum and Campylobacter jejuni.
(f) No water shall be added to retail raw milk.
(g) Retail raw milk shall be kept cooled and stored at a temperature of forty (40) degrees Fahrenheit or less.
(h) Retail raw milk shall contain no drug residues or other inhibitory substances at or above the tolerance levels for drugs or other inhibitors established by the US Food and Drug Administration. Drug or other inhibitor use shall conform to section 22-203c-8 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
(i) The coliform bacteria count of retail raw milk cheese shall not exceed one hundred fifty (150) per milliliter or gram.
Sec. 22-133-130. Retail raw milk and retail raw milk cheese. Sampling frequency, notification, investigations, recalls and enforcement
(a) The commissioner or the commissioner’s designated agent may collect samples of retail raw milk and retail raw milk cheese produced once per month. Sampling frequency may be increased whenever the commissioner or the commissioner’s designated agent has a valid reason to increase the sampling frequency or whenever a standard established in section 22-133-129 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies has been violated.
(b) The tests conducted on retail raw milk and retail raw milk cheese include, but are not limited to, the standard plate count, the direct microscopic cell count, the detection of drugs and other inhibitors, the detection of human pathogens, and the coliform bacteria count.
(c) Upon receipt of notification that retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese violates standards established in section 22-133-129 of the Regulations of Connecticut Sate Agencies, the producer shall investigate the cause of the violation and prepare a written explanation, describing the cause and the corrective action taken. The written explanation and description of the corrective actions taken shall be completed within fifteen (15) days of the notification and kept on file by the retail raw milk producer or retail raw milk cheese manufacturer for one year and shall be available for inspection.
(d) In addition to section 22-133-130(c) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, whenever retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese is found to have a coliform colony count exceeding one hundred fifty (150) colonies per milliliter (ml) the commissioner may prevent the sale and cause to be destroyed all contaminated retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese in accordance with sections 22-129 and 22-129a of the Connecticut General Statutes, until an investigation by the commissioner or the commissioner’s designated agent determines the retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese produced at that facility complies with sections 22-133-124 through 22-133-129, inclusive, of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies.
(e) The confirmed presence of human pathogens in retail raw milk and retail raw milk cheese shall be considered an imminent public health threat. The commissioner shall prevent the sale and cause to be destroyed all contaminated retail raw milk or retail raw milk cheese in accordance with sections 22-129 and 22-129a of the Connecticut General Statutes. The producer may be required to initiate a product recall. The retail raw milk producer or retail raw milk cheese manufacturer shall make available to the commissioner or the commissioner’s designated agent the names and contact information of all known consumers, distributors and retail sales outlets.
Sec. 22-133-132. Retail raw milk. Labeling
In addition to section 22-133-131 of the regulations of Connecticut State Agencies, retail raw milk labels shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) The name of the food “Raw Cow’s Milk”, “Raw Sheep Milk” or “Raw Goat’s Milk”, as is appropriate, shall be plainly labeled;
(2) The label shall contain the name, address and zip code of the producing farm;
(3) The label shall state the net amount of the contents.
(4) The consumer shall be informed of the risks involved with the consumption of raw or undercooked animal food by conspicuously labeling each container with the following advisory statement ƒRaw milk is not pasteurized, pasteurization destroys organisms that may be harmful to human health.” The advisory statement shall be legible, in contrasting color from the label or contents and in type of no less one eighth (1/8) of an inch in height. The advisory statement shall be part of the label affixed to the container or printed on hangtags attached to the container;
(5) The last sale date shall be calculated by adding a maximum of (7) days to the date the milk is bottled; and
(6) Retail raw milk shall only be sold only in original containers.
Public Act No. 15-101
AN ACT AUTHORIZING HERD SHARES WITHIN THE PRODUCTION OF MILK AND RAW MILK PRODUCTS AND THE MANUFACTURE OF CHEESE FOR PERSONAL CONSUMPTION.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Subsection (c) of section 22-129 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):
(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to: [the] (1) The production of milk, milk products, raw milk or raw milk products and the manufacture of cheese for personal consumption or for consumption by immediate family members, or (2) the transfer or exchange of raw milk between persons who are parties to the same shared animal ownership agreement. For purposes of this subsection, “shared animal ownership agreement” means any contractual arrangement in which a person: (A) Acquires an ownership interest in a milk-producing animal, (B) agrees to pay or reimburse another person or otherwise accept financial responsibility for the care and boarding of such milk-producing animal, and (C) is entitled to receive a share of the raw milk produced by such milk-producing animal.[Senate Bill 360 – Approved June 23, 2015]
Read segment: “Connecticut Herdshare Bill Now Law” [July 1, 2015] – Originally SB 360 limited the herd size to five 5 cattle or fifteen goats or sheep. The law also allows the production of milk, milk products, raw milk or raw milk products and the manufacture of cheese for personal consumption or for immediate family members.
SB 360 lifts a ban on herdshares that the Connecticut Department of Agriculture engineered toward the end of the 2009 legislative session when an amendment prohibiting unlicensed dairies from even giving milk to anyone outside the producer’s family was tacked on to a bill titled the “Connecticut Fertilizer Law of 2008.” SB 360 passed unanimously through both chambers in the legislature.
Congratulations to FTCLDF member Mary Tracy, one of the principals in the passage of the bill which was signed by the Governor on June 23, 2015.
Read more raw milk history for Connecticut at realmilk.com
Last updated January 30th, 2016