MDARD – Food and Dairy Division (FDD) – Michigan Courts

Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development Annual Reports
Fruit and Vegetable Controlled Atmosphere Storage Licensing Details, FAQ's, & Forms

Want to know how to contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development? On this page you will find phone numbers, email addresses, snail mail addresses, and online contact forms for everything we do here at MDARD. We even have a complaint form for those of you with complaints.

Emergency Preparedness
Laws and Regulations pertaining to and governing the actions and policies of the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
This area contains information for press and media agencies. Press Releases, Pics, Podcasts & Videos
List of services offered on by MDARD
All public meetings, that fall under the Open Meetings Act, scheduled by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development will be posted here. Questions about any of these meetings should be directed to contact person in the division listed on the notice.

Animal ID and movement requirements in the State of Michigan
Animal health resources for veterinary professionals.
Diseases affecting, or potentially affecting, animals in Michigan
Requirements to exhibit livestock in Michigan and more.

Privately-Owned Cervids
Feed & Antibiotics
Rules governing the disposal of Bodies of Dead Animals (BODA).

Information about how MDARD's Agriculture Development Division can help you grow your business in Michigan.

International Marketing

Conservation Programs
Michigan's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was created to help protect our environment and wildlife. Michigan is partnering with the federal government to implement conservation practices of great significance to the state, and valuable to the nation, in matters of soil erosion, water quality, and wildlife habitat.
Farmland Preservation
Programs under the Private Forestlands Initiative, including the Forestry Assistance Program, Qualified Forester Registration, and Qualified Forest Program.
Intercounty Drains

Good migrant labor housing is an essential element in securing an adequate supply of seasonal agricultural workers.

The Cottage Food law, enacted in 2010, allows individuals to manufacture and store certain types of foods in an unlicensed home kitchen.
Food Recalls
Resources for Regulators

Find a licensed firm in Michigan, from pesticide businesses to retail establishments, and more.

For the registration of horses, breeders and owners so as to render them eligible for racing and breeder/owner awards.

Retail Motor Fuel Outlet licensing information, applications and forms.
Information on Weights & Measures service person and agency registration, as well as weights and measures advisories.

Each new, existing, and proposed commercial pesticide or fertilizer bulk storage facility is required to register annually with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Information on how to acquire a feed license to manufacture or distribute commercial feed in Michigan.
Fertilizer License and Registration Requirements, as well as Liming License Requirements
Fruit and Vegetable Inspection
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is charged with certifying sites where industrial hemp is to be grown under the authority of the federal Agriculture Act of 2014 and the state Industrial Hemp Research Act of 2014.

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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.

Food and Dairy Regulations
Food Safety and Inspection Program
Michigan’s grocery and convenience stores, food processors, food service establishments, and food warehouses are regulated by the Food Safety and Inspection Program of the Food and Dairy Division (FDD), in partnership with Michigan’s local health departments. FDD staff works with a variety of food industry, regulatory, consumer, and academic partners to assure the food produced, distributed, and sold in Michigan is safe.  By working closely with these partners, FDD has been able to identify and resolve public health issues relating to food safety in a timely manner.

In addition to assuring a safe and wholesome food supply, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and local health department food inspectors play a key role in assuring a robust, growing industry.  Although the overall number of food establishments has been stable for the past five years, approximately 2,500 new food establishment licenses are issued each year in Michigan.  These range from grocery stores and restaurants to small on-farm and specialty food processors and larger processors who distribute their food products worldwide. 

Food inspectors assist the owners of these new businesses before, during, and after the licensing process, by giving advice and guidance on building design and processing plans; reviewing labels and standard operating procedures to assure food safety compliance; explaining state and federal regulatory requirements; and connecting new business owners with the resources they need from local health departments, zoning officials and other state departments.  Food inspectors also provide marketing resources to new business owners that are available through MDARD’s Office of Agriculture Development and the Michigan State University (MSU) Product Center.  This assistance helps new businesses get off to a great start, which directly translates to new jobs and a stronger economy.
Milk and Dairy Product Safety and Inspection Program
Through the efforts of the Milk and Dairy Product Safety and Inspection Program, Michigan consumers are assured the safest and most wholesome milk supply available in the world.  Michigan dairy farmers produce about 10.8 billion pounds of milk annually, ranking the state 6th in the nation for milk production.  By inspecting Michigan’s Grade A and Manufacturing Grade milk-producing farms on a regular basis, dairy 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. Dairy staff also protects the public from false labeling of dairy products so consumers can buy with confidence.
Foodborne Illness Outbreaks and Food Recalls
The increasingly globalized and complex nature of our food supply requires the Food and Dairy Division and our food safety partners to work more closely than ever to rapidly detect, investigate, and control food contamination incidents. In fact, the CDC has documented increased numbers of reported multi-state outbreaks in recent years (

MDARD and Michigan’s 45 LHDs provide the front line investigators for foodborne illness investigations. Staff often coordinates activities with professionals from local, state and federal government and the private sector.

Foodborne illness outbreaks are identified by investigation of both unconfirmed foodborne illness complaints and reports of laboratory confirmed illnesses. Close coordination of response efforts prevents illnesses and saves lives through early detection of outbreaks and rapid implementation of control measures. Control measures include but are not limited to seizures, facility license limitations or closures, and food recalls. Division staff participated in intensive traceback investigations throughout the year as part of larger multi-state investigations. Without accurate tracebacks, outbreaks often cannot be tracked to their sources and the root causes of the outbreaks identified.

Lessons learned from these investigations are utilized by MDARD, other agencies and food industry decision-makers to improve risk-based food regulatory and prevention strategies thereby limiting future outbreaks from the same causes.
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. 
Food and Dairy Division
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The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) works to assure food safety, protect animal and plant health, sustain environmental stewardship, provide consumer protection, enable rural development and foster efficient administration operations through service, partnership and collaboration.
Contact Us

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Constitution Hall, 6th Floor
525 W. Allegan Street
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI 48909
Job Openings
At MDARD, we encourage and embrace innovation, creativity, and growth, so we can provide the best possible service to our food and agriculture businesses, communities, and colleagues. As a department, we are committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that builds upon our values and invests in our employees and provides an inclusive culture through involvement and empowerment.
View MDARD Jobs


Do Grocery Store and Fast Food Health Labels Lead to Better … – DISCOVER Magazine
Food Safety is About People –

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