Guidelines for food safety control of artisan cheese-making

image of Guidelines for food safety control of artisan cheese-making

These guidelines have been formulated as part of the project ”Nordic co-operation between representatives of the sector and food safety inspectors in order to simplify the food safety control of artisan cheese-making”, also known as ”Nordost” (Northern Cheese). The project is financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers and was initiated bythe Nordic work group for ”Food administration and user/consumer information” (the NMF group). The content of the guidelines and the appendices do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Nordic Council of Ministers or the National Food Administration. Artisan cheese-making takes place under greatly varying conditions, which can include everything from cheese-making in tiled dairies to production in primitive summerpasture villages. Nevertheless, irrespective of the environment in which it takes place, the cheese-making process is the same and the same demands apply, namely that the cheese shall be safe for consumers to eat. It is the producers duty to ensure that the cheese does not represent a health hazard, and that it is suitable for human consumption. The objective of these guidelines is to provide support to food safety inspectors in carrying out efficient food safety control by focusing on the relevant hazards associated with artisan cheese-making, but also to disseminate the results of the sub-projects in ”Nordost” to producers and other interested parties. Several of these sub-projects have studied relevant literature and tested equipment that enables simple effective own control by producers.



Cleaning wooden equipment

In traditional cheese-making in summer-pasture villages, spruce is used for making cheese moulds, butter-making equipment and storage shelves for ripening cheeses. The wooden cheese moulds are usually washed-up in warm or hot water, with or without detergent. In some cases water in which juniper branches have been soaked is used for washing-up. Most of the cheese-makers in this type of traditional production say that it is important that the wooden equipment has a chance to dry between each cheese-making. Wooden shelves for ripening are usually scrubbed in clean water and are then sprayed with diluted acetic acid, as a precaution against Listeria bacteria. For more information on the use of different equipment see Appendix 10: “The use and management of different materials in connection with cheese-making at various summer-pasture villages”.


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