Grade “A” milk fails audit

RALEIGH —The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Department) is responsible for the enforcement of sanitation requirements designed to keep the Grade “A” milk supply safe for
North Carolina General Statute Chapter 106 Article 28C requires the Board of Agriculture (Board) to adopt rules relating to the sanitary production, transportation, processing and distribution of Grade “A” milk. The Board adopted the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) as its guideline for regulating Grade “A” milk.
The Department is responsible for enforcing the rules governing Grade “A” milk by making sanitary inspections of Grade “A” milk entities, determining the quality of Grade “A” milk, and evaluating methods of handling Grade “A” milk. The Department is also responsible for issuing permits for the operation of Grade “A” milk entities and suspending or revoking permits for violations in accordance with the rules.
The Department’s enforcement of Grade “A” milk is carried out by one compliance officer,
one state rating officer, and five milk inspectors who are led by a Dairy Administrator
(currently vacant). At the time of testing, the Department regulated 207 dairy farms, 20 milk processing plants, 288 milk hauler/samplers, 119 plant samplers, 301 milk trucks and 16 single service manufacturers.
The audit found that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (Department) is not effectively enforcing the rules governing Grade “A” milk. Specifically, inspections of Grade “A” milk entities are too lenient. Details about the finding are provided in the Audit Finding.
Recommendations, and Responses section of the report. The Department disagreed with the finding and recommendations in the report. As a result, the report includes a State Auditor’s Response to ensure that readers have complete and accurate information and are not misled.

David Wheeler for NC Senate District 47