Milk Product Plant Licenses and Permits

Milk products plant licenses and permits are issued by CDFA for various types of businesses that handle or manufacture milk and milk products. As required by Food and Agricultural Code (FAC) section 35011, a person shall not engage in the business of dealing in, receiving, manufacturing, freezing, or processing milk, or any product of milk unless a license or permit has been obtained from CDFA for each separate milk products plant or place of business.

All milk products plants must be inspected and approved by CDFA prior to a license or permit being issued. Contact the nearest Regional Office of the Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch for assistance with the type of license or permit applicable to your business or to schedule an appointment with an inspector. All applications must have an inspector’s signature before a license or permit will be issued.

  • Semi-frozen (Soft-Serve) Milk Products Plant License*

    A soft-serve license is required for anyone selling soft-serve ice cream, frozen yogurt or nondairy frozen dessert. These manufactured products must be served directly in a semi-frozen state, without packaging of any type, for consumption on the premises in or from rooms where food is served to the public (FAC 33704(a)). Under a soft-serve license, mixes must be obtained ready-to-use from a licensed milk products plant and may not be made from scratch. Any form of hard frozen processing or packaging is not permitted under this license.

    $325 annual fee; license expires on December 31 of each year; fee is prorated for businesses started after March 31; penalties apply when not renewed by statutory deadline (FAC 35311).

    Application for a Semi-frozen (Soft Serve) Milk Products Plant License

    * Soft serve plants located in the following counties/cities are under jurisdiction of an Approved Milk Inspection Service/ local Health Department: Fresno County, Los Angeles County, Sonoma County, San Bernardino County, Tulare/Kings County, City of Long Beach.

    Contact information for Approved Milk Inspection Services

  • Limited Frozen Manufacturing Permit

    A limited frozen manufacturing (LFM) permit is required for a facility that manufactures and packages hard frozen or semi-frozen dairy products or nondairy frozen desserts. Mixes used to manufacture frozen desserts may be purchased ready-to-use or be custom made from scratch on-site. The hard frozen or semi-frozen products shall only be sold directly to consumers on the premises of the facility issued an LFM permit. The hard frozen or semi-frozen products manufactured at the LFM permitted facility may also be packaged on-site exclusively for sale on the premises to patrons and guests. Packaging for purposes of wholesale, resale, or for sale at locations off the premises of the facility is prohibited (FAC 35016).

    The LFM facility shall not manufacture more than 7,500 gallons of hard frozen or semi-frozen products during any year. Production records must be maintained at the facility for the preceding 12-month period and shall be available for inspection by CDFA. Use of raw dairy ingredients is prohibited.

    $600 annual fee; license expires on December 31 of each year; fee is prorated for businesses started after March 31; penalties apply when not renewed by statutory deadline (FAC 35311).

    Application for a Limited Frozen Manufacturing Permit

  • Frozen Milk Products Plant License

    A frozen milk products plant license is required for the manufacture of hard frozen ice cream and other frozen dairy products and non-dairy frozen desserts. Such plants must score a minimum of 80 percent on the official scorecard for milk products plants (FAC 33701) and comply with the requirements for new construction, repairs and sanitation of milk products plants (FAC 33731 - 33782). At a minimum, a separate room dedicated to the manufacturing and packaging of frozen milk products, including popsicles is required. The manufacturing area is often called a "clean room". The facility may manufacture any quantity of product packaged for sale on or off the premises.

    $100 annual fee; renewal fee of $100 plus $1 for each additional 10,000 gallons or fraction of 10,000 gallons over and above 20,000 gallons that were manufactured during the preceding year, ending December 31 (FAC 35221(a)(1)); penalties apply when not renewed by statutory deadline (FAC 35311). An additional inspection fee due quarterly also applies.

  • Milk Products Plant License

    A milk products plant license is required for the processing and packaging of products including but not limited to fluid milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, butter and dried milk. Such plants must score a minimum of 80 percent on the official scorecard for milk products plants (FAC 33701) and comply with the requirements for new construction, repairs and sanitation of milk products plants (FAC 33731 - 33782). A separate room dedicated to the manufacturing and packaging of milk products is required, as well as other rooms dedicated to specific operational activities at the facility. The facility may manufacture any quantity of product packaged for sale on or off the premises.

    $100 annual fee; license expires on December 31 of each year; renewal fee is $100 plus $1 for each additional 10,000 pounds or fraction of 10,000 pounds over and above the first 100,000 pounds of milk fat that was purchased or received during the preceding year, ending December 31 (FAC 35221(a)(5)); penalties apply when not renewed by statutory deadline (FAC 35311). An additional inspection fee due quarterly also applies.

  • Products Resembling Milk Products (PRMP) Plant License

    A PRMP plant license is required for the processing and packaging of products that have the appearance, taste, smell, texture or color of a milk product, and which, taken as a whole, bear resemblance to a milk product, could be mistaken for a milk product, or could be used as a substitute for a milk product (FAC 38931). A nondairy product is a PRMP that contains no milk or milk solids. Examples of a PRMP include but are not limited to non-dairy creamers, substitute cheeses and almond-, soy-, rice- or other plant-based dairy alternatives. A facility licensed to manufacture a PRMP must meet the same sanitation requirements as a milk products plant (FAC 33782).

    $100 annual fee; license expires on December 31 of each year (FAC 38933 - 38935). Penalties apply when not renewed by statutory deadline (FAC 35311). An additional inspection fee due quarterly may also apply.

    Application for a PRMP Plant License

    PRMP Product Registration

    Any person engaged in the manufacture of products resembling milk products, shall register the product(s) with the department (FAC 38941). Each product must have its own product registration, including different flavors of the same product type. Labels for all products must be submitted for review and approval prior to the label being used in the marketplace. Changes made to the product ingredients or the label will require a new registration.

    $25 application fee; expires on December 31 two years following issuance; $10 renewal fee; penalties apply when not renewed by statutory deadline (FAC 35311). A $122 per hour  label review fee also applies.

  • Vitamin/Mineral Permits

    A statement of method and manner of adding vitamins and minerals to dairy products shall be filed with and approved by CDFA.

    No fee is required for a Vitamin and Mineral permit.