The Laboratory Services Division provides analytical services to the other divisions within the Department of Agriculture and Food. Its laboratories provide chemical, physical, and microbiological analyses for a wide variety of products to protect the state’s consumers, farmers, and industry.
The labs test meat, dairy, feed, fertilizer, and pesticides to ensure their contents match those listed on their labels. The labs also test for contaminants such as heavy metals, pathogens, and drug or pesticide residues. Groundwater samples are tested for overall quality.
Special consumer complaint samples are also examined. These samples are analyzed to determine whether the complaints are valid; if so, the matter is turned over to departmental compliance officers for follow up action.
The State Chemist receives authority from the Utah Legislature, through Title 4, Chapter 2, Section 10 of the Utah Code.
Dairy Testing Lab
The Dairy Testing Lab (DTL) is comprised of FDA-certified microbiologists who implement the federal Grade A Milk Testing Program for the state of Utah. They also perform other testing requested by the Dairy Regulatory Department of the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food such as milk component, egg plant water, and dairy complaint testing.
The federal Grade A Milk Testing Program is administered by the U.S. Public Health Service and the FDA and ensures the safety of Grade A dairy products. In this program Grade A dairy products (pasteurized fluid milk, cream, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese) are tested for total microorganisms (to include coliform), total somatic cells, and inhibitors. Grade A dairy products are also tested to ensure pasteurization has occurred.
The DTL ensures that the Grade A dairy plant laboratories in the state of Utah are properly analyzing for drug residues in all incoming milk-for-processing samples. The DTL also certifies commercial laboratories on behalf of the FDA to perform Grade A Milk Testing for the state of Utah.
The Dairy Testing Laboratory is accredited in accordance with the recognized International Standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005. CERTIFICATE No. 2884.01
Feed and Fertilizer Testing Lab
The Feed Lab tests commercial feed samples for moisture, protein, fat, fiber, minerals, toxins, antibiotics, and vitamins. Seed moisture determinations are also performed for the seed laboratory. The Fertilizer Lab tests solid and liquid fertilizer samples for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements. All feed and fertilizer results are compared to label guarantees to ensure compliance with state labeling laws.
Meat Testing Lab
The Meat Testing Lab analyzes meat and meat product samples obtained during inspections of state plant and processing facilities. Tests for levels of fat, moisture, protein, sulfites, and added non-meat products ensure label compliance of these products. Antibiotic residues and cross-contamination from other species are also monitored. Samples from processing facilities are also tested for the presence of Salmonella and other pathogens.
Pesticide Testing Lab