The Iowa Department of Agriculture regularly inspects Iowa dairy farms and dairy plants to ensure compliance with state and federal laws to ensure food safety and regularly tests to ensure milk and milk products are cooled and stored at proper temperatures, meets bacterial limits, and are free from drug residue. Raw milk must also meet somatic cell count requirements and pasteurized milk and milk products must also meet coliform and phosphatase limits.
The state ag department conducted numerous inspections of Meinders Dairy in 2012 and during the course of the inspections concluded Meinders Dairy violated the milk or milk products requirements of Iowa law. In addition, testing results from samples collected from milk and milk products from Meinders Dairy contained bacteria and coliform counts exceeding acceptable standards for pasteurized milk products.
Meinders Dairy must cease all operations and cannot sell milk or dairy products
Due to the violations, the ag department entered into a settlement agreement with Meinders Dairy requiring that its raw milk used for processing and each finished product would be tested twice per week for three weeks to obtain a running quality record history to determine Meinders Dairy's progress in complying with Iowa's laws governing the production of milk and milk products. However, Meinders Dairy failed to perform all agreed upon testing.
The ag department then revoked Meinders Dairy's plant permit and that decision was approved by the administrative law judge today. As a result, Meinders Dairy must cease all operations and cannot sell milk or dairy products. Pursuant to Iowa Code sections 192.107 and 21 IAC 68.11 the Department has authority to take disciplinary action against a permit holder, including suspension or revocation for the permit for violations of Iowa Code chapter 190, 192, 194, and 21 IAC chapter 68 and 71.