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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.

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The ”Nordost” Project

The organisation of the project started in the autumn of 2007 at a meeting for Nordic countries in Uppsala, Sweden, on 24-25th October. The theme of the meeting was “Do we carry out food safety control in the best way?” Representatives of the sector and the relevant authorities in Sweden, Norway and Iceland participated and discussed how producers can carry out simple, effective own control and what support the project can provide to food safety inspectors so that they can focus on the relevant hazards associated with artisan cheese-making. The discussions resulted in a list of prioritised projects. From this list, the following sub-projects were carried out in 2008-2009. Reports from most of them are possible to order from the secretary of the NMF-group of the Nordic Council of Ministers, for the moment situated at the Swedish National Food Adminstration

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