Home The Issue and Events Federal and Provincial Legislation Why There Is a Demand for Natural Milk
Where Sale of Natural Milk Is Allowed Methods of Production

Federal legislation sets minimum standards for the regulation of milk production, processing and distribution. Each province must adopt the minimum federal standards in their own legislation. However any province is free to raise its provincial standards to a higher level if it so chooses.

The relevant  federal legislation is the Food and Drug Regulations of the Food and Drugs Act, Section B.08.002.2(1). Subject to subsection (2), no person shall sell the normal lacteal secretion obtained from the mammary gland of the cow, genus Bos, or of any other animal, or sell a dairy product made with any such secretion, unless the secretion or dairy product has been pasteurized by being held at a temperature and for a period that ensure the reduction of the alkaline phosphatase activity so as to meet the tolerances specified in official method MFO-3, Determination of Phosphatase Activity in Dairy Products, dated November 30, 1981.

The relevant Ontario legislation is the Health Protection and Promotion Act, Section 18.(1). No person shall sell, offer for sale, deliver or distribute milk or cream that has not been pasteurized or sterilized in a plant that is licensed under the Milk Act or in a plant outside Ontario that meets the standards for plants licensed under the Milk Act.  

Both the federal and provincial legislations prohibit the distribution of raw milk at the present time.

However, a federal exemption exists to permit the production and sale of unpasteurized cheese, provided it has been stored for 60 days above 2C, per Section B.08.030(1) of the Food and Drug Regulations. The other relevant sections are B.08.002.2(2)(a) and B.08.044(1).

In 2008, Quebec introduced a second categaory of raw milk to permit the production and sale of unpasteurized cheese without the federal 60-day storage requirement. Click here for the regulations and find your way to Division 11.6. Its purpose was to open up artisanal cheese making in the province.