Food and Dairy
The mission of the Food and Dairy Division (FDD) is to protect public health by ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply, while working to maintain a viable food and dairy industry. Food safety is the division's top priority.
Michigan has historically been at the forefront in progressively assuring safer foods. It was Michigan's Food and Dairy Commissioner who, in 1896, called for a meeting in Detroit which brought together many states to insure the interstate shipment of safer foods. This organization flourished and is now known as the Association of Food and Drug Officials.
Applicable regulations may be found here.
Dairy Product Assurance - Through the efforts of the Dairy Section, Michigan consumers are assured the safest and most wholesome milk supply available in the world. Michigan dairy farmers produce about 5.5 billion pounds of milk annually, ranking the state eighth in the nation for milk production. By inspecting Michigan's Grade A and Manufacturing Grade milk-producing farms on a regular basis, Dairy Section inspectors insure that all fluid milk for bottling in the state meets stringent standards. In addition, cheese factories, butter plants and ice cream facilities are checked for sanitation. Samples of dairy products are analyzed at the department's laboratory to assure that standards are met. The Dairy Section also protects the public from false labeling of dairy products so consumers can buy with confidence.
Food Safety Alliance - Created by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD), this coalition is a partnership among government agencies, private industry, trade associations, consumers and academia to address current and emerging food safety policy issues.
Food Service Oversight - FDD oversees food service sanitation programs for 37,000 establishments throughout the state, such as restaurants, cafeterias, temporary food vendors and commissaries.
Michigan Food Law of 2000 - The new law was adopted on May 8, 2000, and took effect on November 8, 2000. It sets new regulatory standards for all licensed food establishments. The law raises food safety standards, outlines education requirements to reduce foodborne contamination, streamlines inspection systems and increases penalty options for violations. Efforts are underway to adopt the federal Food Code of 2005 into Michigan law.
Regulation of Food Establishments - Fifty food inspectors are responsible for inspecting the state's diversified food establishments, which include bakeries and breweries, groceries and grain mills, fruit processors and water bottlers. Over 21,000 establishments are licensed yearly. Inspectors investigate over 1,600 complaints annually and, in 1998, they seized and supervised the disposition of $6.25 million worth of food that violated food safety standards.
Solving Foodborne Illness: Food SAFE Team - Along with close relationships with local health departments, Michigan Department of Community Health and the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDD has created an interagency Food SAFE (Special Actions for Food Emergencies) Team. This team has the mandate to address all food safety emergencies.
In conjunction with addressing food safety, samples are taken regularly of food ranging from ground meats to maple syrup to deli salads. Samples may be analyzed for contaminates, foreign objects, illegal additives, fat content or pathogens.
Kevin Besey, Director
Food and Dairy Division