State Chemist, Director of Laboratory Services
The Chemistry Lab serves the other divisions within the Department of Agriculture and Food. Its laboratories provide chemical, physical, and microbiological analyses of a wide variety of products, with the goal of protecting the state's consumers, farmers, and industry.
Meat, dairy, feed, fertilizer, and pesticides are tested to be sure their contents match those listed on their labels. Products are also tested for undesirable materials such as heavy metals, pathogens, and drug or pesticide residues. Ground water samples are tested for overall quality.
Special consumer complaint samples are also examined. These samples are checked to see if the complaints are valid; if so, the matter is turned over to departmental compliance officers for follow up action.
The State Chemist receives his authority from the Utah Legislature, through Title 4, Chapter 2, Section 10 of the Utah Code.
Utah Code and Administrative Rules Relating to the Analytical Labs
- Dairy Microbiology Lab -The Dairy Microbiology Lab tests in four major areas: Grade AA Raw Milk, Industry Laboratory Certification, Quality Milk, and Consumer Products. The laboratory is also certified as the FDA Central Milk Laboratory for the State of Utah, and our supervisor serves as the State Milk Laboratory Evaluation Officer (LEO) which has jurisdiction over the certified milk labs within the State.
- 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 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.
- Pesticide Testing Lab - The Pesticide Residue Lab tests for the presence of herbicide, insecticide, rodenticide, and fungicide residue in plants, fruits, vegetables soil, water, and milk products. These samples are submitted when department inspectors suspect there may be a misuse of the application of a pesticide. The Pesticide Formulation Lab tests herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides to ensure that the listing of active ingredients and their concentrations are correct and in compliance with state labeling laws.
Link to State Agricultural Laboratories - AGLABS