California Department of Food and Agriculture

Food safety laboratory



The Food Safety Laboratory is comprised of 3 laboratory sections whose primary role is to provide testing to local, State and Federal agencies that work to protect the nation’s food supply.

USDA - Pesticide Data Program Laboratory

Developed in 1991 by the U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture, the Pesticide Data Program (PDP) is a national pesticide residue program with 12 participating states. CA-PDP tests for pesticide residues in a wide variety of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables with emphasis on those commodities highly consumed by infants and children. PDP provides Governmental agencies with critical, realistic pesticide residue data that helps in dietary risk assessment, in identifying crops that need alternative pest management practices, and in promoting the export of U.S. commodities. Agencies using PDP data include EPA, the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, and the Foreign Agricultural Service, as well as groups within the private sector.

For questions regarding the program, please call Monitoring Programs Office at 703-330-2300 or visit

Pesticide Residue Program Laboratory

Pesticide Residue Laboratories provide accurate and reliable analytical support to the County Agriculture Commissioners (CAC) and California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) in their pesticide enforcement activities. Through the market surveillance program, the Sacramento and Anaheim Residue laboratories analyze pesticide residues in fresh produce to ensure industry’s compliance to Environmental Protection Agency tolerance standards. The laboratories also monitor for pesticide exposure of field workers and take part in investigation of illness related to the misuse of pesticides through the CAC contracted projects.

For questions regarding the County investigative program or market surveillance program, please contact the Department of Pesticide Regulation at (916) 324-4100 or visit

Dairy Chemistry Laboratory

The Dairy Chemistry Laboratory provides testing for CDFA’s Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch who enforce California laws by performing compositional, pesticide, nutritional, and antibiotic analyses on milk, dairy products, and imitation dairy products. The laboratory provides an essential service to the dairy industry by providing calibration reference samples in Infrared Milk Analysis (IRMA) to participating dairy and private laboratories throughout the State who are responsible for measuring the amount of fat, protein, moisture, lactose and total solids in raw milk samples. The Dairy Chemistry Laboratory also performs routine compositional analysis of milk and dairy products sold in California to ensure their compliance to California standards.

For questions regarding the IRMA and routine sample programs, please contact the Milk and Dairy Food Safety Branch at (916) 654-0773, or visit