Food Engineering

FDA still studying raw milk cheese

March 22, 2003
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to act on its review of the 60-day aging process for raw milk cheese, but continues to solicit opinions about the safety of that process. The regulatory agency has expressed some concern over research showing E. coli and other bacteria can survive past the current 60-day holding period. The American Cheese Society, along with highly vocal gourmet cheese lovers, argue that to force pasteurization of all milk used in cheese would spell the end of some of the world's best cheeses. The society has issued a study showing very few bacterial outbreaks traced to cheese made with unpasteurized milk. Expect this debate to heat up, as the FDA gets closer to issuing its conclusions sometime next spring.