Learning a lot today, thank you Ryan, can you help me out though, I want to learn more about the diary regs:
1. If they only operate within the state, it depends entirely on state level regulations which may have adopted the PMO by reference (it has no federal authority as a guidance document, like the food code). So not sure which jurisdictions we need to evaluate for OP.
2. You don't have to sell grade A products, and I'm pretty sure the IMS is voluntary?
3. I can't actually find a regulation that says you can't repack dairy products?
4. Depending on state I'm very confused at where you're handling a "food" vs. a graded dairy product. Once the grade is assigned I would think it remains the same no matter who buys it?
So here is the deal, the PMO is a Federal guidance document that's enforced nationally in the US. All State enforce this at the state and local levels within dairy / milk plants, even if you don't ship across state lines. Some states, like California, have additional requirements and restrictions (we are an odd state like that).
1. If you are not shipping across state lines you don't have to be IMS (Interstate Milk Shippers) listed plant. There is an FDA IMS list of all Grade A milk / dairy plants that are licensed to ship across state lines. It is broken down by region. Each sate in the US has a specific two digit code, for California we are 06, Alabama is 01, and then each milk / dairy plant has a specific plant or BTU number. This listing also includes all dairy farms. Regardless if a dairy / milk company is IMS certified (ship across State lines) they must have a milk plant license to operate. To obtain this license you must have State inspectors come in and inspect the facility and equipment to ensure you are compliant with the PMO and any other State applicable guidelines / regulations. Our facility is plant number 06-16681. Additionally, you are listed only for specific types of milk / dairy products (in the product code section). So, our facility, since we only process fluid milk, cannot sell yogurt across state lines.
2. Some items are not considered "grade A", but almost all fluid milk items and many cultured items are considered "Grade A". you can't just opt to not label as Grade A either if you name the product within the standard of identity for that item. What the heck does this mean, you may be asking...well, "Milk" for example has a specific FDA standard of identity it must meet in order to be called "Milk". CFR 131.110 is the FDA Milk Standard of identity. yogurt has one as well.
3. In the PMO there is a statement concerning transferring of milk / dairy products and reselling and then requirement to repasteurize whenever this is done. So, the person repacking the yogurt would have to re-pasteurize it before they could legally repack it and call it yogurt.
4. The dairy product is not necessarily regulated by "Grade A" or non-grade A, I think the new term is "manufacturing" for non-Grade A. If the product is contains 65% ore more by weight in dairy ingredients and minimum 2.0% milk protein then it falls under a dairy product and thus needs to be regulated by the dairy branch for that state. Additionally, if the product will be shipped across State lines the plant will need to be "IMS Listed", which means it is listed on that FDA IMS list for the product(s) in question. To be IMS Listed you are not only inspected by the dairy branch for the particular state you are located, but State level appointed IMS inspectors inspect the facility every 18 months. On top of this, the State inspector who inspects quarterly, is monitored / checked every 22 to 24 months by the FDA. This is called a "check rating" which the FDA comes in and checks the State inspector's work and the plant / facility as well against the PMO.
I can go on and on about this....I think I've said it before, but dairy is probably the most regulated food in the US, period.