What is the future of being able to legally make and sell raw milk cheeses in the wake of the new Federal Food Safety bill passed last December? Although there is nothing specific in the bill about new rules guiding its production, the New York Times has published an article speculating that new proposals from the FDA may alter the existing 60 day rule, perhaps significantly.
In that vein, Caitlin has learned through the Southeastern Cheesemakers Guild listserve that a recommendation from Dr. Cathy Donnelly (of the Vermont Institute of Artisanal Cheese) may be one of those being considered:
Mandatory pasteurization for bloomy rind, washed rind, Hispanic and Tomme style cheeses. 90 day aging above 35F for raw milk cheeses. Mandatory technical training for cheesemakers. Mandatory risk reduction plan. Mandatory pathogen testing for finished product.
I’m sure this will be a topic for conversation at the next MCG meeting, and probably in future meetings. But there’s no need to hold your tongue until then: post your comments on this topic here to begin the conversation.