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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Personal Licenses



LICENSING OF TESTERS, SAMPLER’S & WEIGHER’S, TECHNICIANS AND PASTEURIZERS


Please contact the Regional Office in your area for information regarding the applications, examinations and refresher courses for the following licenses. References are to the Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) and the California Code of Regulations (CCR).

Tester’s License

(valid for two years; $100 nonrefundable fee; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline):

  • Every person who tests milk, cream, or any fluid derivative of milk or cream, which is purchased, received, or sold on the basis of milk fat which is contained in it, shall hold a tester's license (§35161, FAC).
  • A separate license is required for each of the methods or processes of testing (§35162, FAC). Examples of these separate licenses are: Lacto, Babcock, Mojonnier, Oven Solids, and Infrared (IRMA).
  • A grade of at least 80 percent on a written examination and on an oral and a grade of at least 80 percent on a practical examination to demonstrate the ability of the applicant to conduct accurate tests on milk and cream must be obtained to receive a license (§499, CCR).

Sampler’s & Weigher’s – General and Limited

(valid for two years; $100 nonrefundable fee for general, $75 for limited; refresher course required; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline):

  • Every person, except a licensed tester, who takes any sample of milk, cream or any fluid derivative of milk or cream which is purchased, received or sold on the basis of milk fat which is contained in it on which samples tests are to made as a basis of payment and every person who weighs or measures milk, cream or any fluid derivative of milk or cream, shall hold a sampler’s and weigher’s license if the weight or measure is to be used as the basis of payment (§35163, FAC).
  • The general license shall apply to persons who collect milk samples for basis for payment under section 35163 of the Food and Agricultural Code (§500, CCR).
  • The limited license shall apply to processing plant personnel who only collect samples of bulk raw milk for drug residue testing prior to processing under section 32761.5 of the Food and Agricultural Code (§500, CCR).
  • Refresher Course: Each licensee must, within six months prior to the expiration of the license, successfully complete a refresher course and proficiency evaluation. Licenses may then be renewed for two-year periods upon payment of the fee (§35171, FAC).
    • General Sampler’s & Weigher’s License: To receive a general Sampler’s and Weigher’s License the applicant must achieve a grade of at least 80 percent on a written examination and a grade of at least 80 percent on an oral and practical examination to demonstrate the ability of the applicant to correctly collect representative samples, make correct weights on milk and cream and properly and legibly complete a satisfactory weigh sheet. A weigh sheet shall contain all of the following essential information: full date on which the milk and cream was received; name and address of person purchasing, receiving, or selling the product weighed; name or number of the patron; net weight of the milk or cream of the delivery or shipment; and the full name and sampler’s and weigher’s license number of the person who does the weighing.
    • Limited Sampler’s and Weigher’s License: To receive a limited Sampler’s and Weigher’s License the applicant must achieve a grade of at least 80 percent on a written examination and a grade of at least 80 percent on an oral and practical examination to demonstrate the ability of the applicant to correctly collect representative samples from a bulk milk tanker.

Pasteurizer’s:

(valid for two years; $100 nonrefundable fee; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline):

  • Every person who operates any equipment wherein milk or any product of milk is pasteurized shall hold a pasteurizer’s license. The pasteurizer’s licenses shall be known as general and limited licenses.
    • The general license shall apply to pasteurization by all of the approved methods or processes of pasteurization, and
    • the limited license shall apply only to the pasteurization by the process or method known as the holding or vat method (§35168, FAC).
  • To receive a Pasteurizer’s License the applicant must achieve a grade of at least 80 percent on a written examination and a grade of at least 80 percent on an oral and practical examination to demonstrate the ability of the applicant to properly pasteurize milk or its products (§498, CCR).

Technician’s License:

(valid for two years; $100 nonrefundable fee; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline):

  • Every person who makes any bacteriological determination of milk or cream which is to be used as a basis of payment or determining value shall hold a technician's license (§35167, FAC).
  • To receive a Technician’s License the applicant must achieve a grade of at least 80 percent on a written examination and a grade of at least 80 percent on an oral and practical examination to demonstrate the ability of the applicant to conduct accurate bacterial determinations on milk and cream (§501, CCR).

Butter Grader’s License:

(valid for one year; $100 nonrefundable fee; penalties apply when not renewed within statutory deadline)

  • A person shall not engage in the business of cutting and wrapping butter unless such person, in addition to the milk products plant license, has a butter cutting and wrapping permit. Every person that distributes butter which is received in packaged form direct from out-of-state points shall obtain a butter distributor's permit from the director for each plant or place of business. Every butter cutting and wrapping permit and butter distributor's permit expires at the end of each calendar year. A permit may be renewed each successive year, if the plant for which the previous permit was issued and the business has been conducted in accordance with the requirements of this division during the year next preceding that for which renewal is requested. Every person who is in charge of cutting, wrapping, packaging, or distributing butter, or any supervisor of any such person who is responsible for the grading of butter, shall obtain and hold a butter grader's license (§35131-35137, FAC).
  • To receive a Butter Grader’s License the applicant must achieve a grade of at least 80 percent on a written examination and a grade of at least 80 percent on an oral and practical examination to demonstrate the ability of the applicant to grade butter (§499.5, CCR).

Contact us for more information:
California Department of Food and Agriculture
Animal Health and Food Safety Services, Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch
1220 N Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Telephone: (916) 900-5008
Fax: (916) 900-5337
or send an email to: cdfa.Milk_and_Dairy_Food_Safety_Info@cdfa.ca.gov