Laboratory testing for dairy

Dairy products are tested in laboratories that are specifically recognised for this work.

Dairy products are tested to prove they conform with:

  • New Zealand minimum food safety requirements
  • Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMARs).

To be recognised to do the testing, dairy laboratories need to meet the requirements of a recognised laboratory programme (RLP), as set out in the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Laboratories.

Read the requirements in the Notice:

Find out more about testing dairy products and the methods used:

Dairy laboratory categories

Dairy laboratories are divided into 2 categories, with different testing for each category. Testing must be carried out in a laboratory recognised in the appropriate category for the required test. 

Category 1 laboratories

These test dairy products and material intended for domestic and export markets. They're recognised by MPI for testing to demonstrate that the product:

  • is fit for purpose, including food safety, wholesomeness and standard of identity or truth of labelling
  • meets specific requirements for overseas market access.

Category 2 laboratories

These are recognised dairy laboratories that belong to an animal product business. They test the business’s dairy material, including raw milk, intended for the domestic market. They're recognised by MPI to carry out testing which demonstrates that the product:

  • is fit for purpose for sale in New Zealand, including food safety, wholesomeness and standard of identity or truth of labelling
  • meets requirements set out in the company’s risk management programme (RMP) for internal quality control and good operating practice (GOP).

Find a dairy laboratory

MPI maintains a searchable list of all dairy laboratories:

Get recognised as a dairy laboratory

All category 1 laboratories meet the requirements of ISO17025 for testing dairy products. The requirements are published by International Accreditation New Zealand (IANZ).

Find out more about ISO accreditation and how laboratories and recognised agencies operate:

Read the requirements to become or operate as a recognised agency and the specifications for category 2 laboratories:

Terminate a contract with a dairy operator

If a recognised agency terminates a contract with a dairy operator, they must notify MPI in writing.

Find out about the requirement to notify MPI:

Testing raw milk

Raw milk testing requireemnts are in the Animal Products Notice: Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers

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