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The Raw Milk Beat Goes On: A Look at the Literature and the 60-Day Raw Milk Cheese Aging Rule – Part 2

Definitions

Before embarking on a discussion of the 60-day curing criteria for cheeses made from raw milk, it is important to understand the definition of cheese styles and differences in regulation.  Cheese was originally developed by human societies as a method to preserve milk.  In the US, cheeses are usually made from cow’s, goat’s, sheep’s, or buffalo’s milk.  Among 72 different cheese and cheese product types defined in 21 C.F.R. Part 133, the FDA allows only a limited number of cheese types to be made with raw milk so long as the cheese is cured at a temperature of not less than 35°F for not less than 60 days. The Raw Milk Cheesemakers’ Association adds an additional criteria for low-temperature (thermised) heat treatment of raw milk cheese:  “Cheese produced from milk that, prior to setting the curd, has not been heated above the temperature of the milk (104°F, 40°C) at the time of milking and that the cheese produced from that milk shall be aged for 60 days or longer at a temperature of not less than 35°F (2°C) in accordance with US FDA regulations.”  Table 1 summarizes cheeses and cheese types subject to the 60-day aging rule.

Table 1.  Cheese and Cheese Products in the US (adapted from The American Cheese Society).

Cheese Type

60-day aging rule allowed

Examples

Fresh cheeses

No

Italian style mascarpone and ricotta, chevre, feta, cream cheese, quark and cottage cheese, queso freso and other Mexican-style fresh cheeses

Soft-ripened cheeses

Yes

brie and camembert styles, triple crèmes

Semi-soft cheeses

Yes

blue cheeses, colby, fontina styles, havarti and Monterey Jack, washed rind cheeses

 

Firm/hard cheeses

Yes

gouda styles, most cheddars, dry jack, Swiss (Emmenthaler) styles, Gruyere styles, many “tomme” styles and Parmesan styles

Blue cheeses

Yes

French (roquefort), Italian (gorgonzola) and Danish blue styles 

 

Pasta Filata cheeses

No

Italian style Mozzarella, Provolone, and Scamorza

Natural or washed rind cheeses

Yes

French Tomme de Savoie and Mimolette, as well as the English Stilton (also a blue), and Lancashire cheeses (natural); Epoisses, Livarot and Taleggio (washed) 

 

Processed cheeses

Not applicable

American Cheese, processed cheese spreads, and “cheese flavored” spreads.

 

References

References

1. Altekruse, S. F., B. B. Timbo, J. C. Mowbray, N. H. Bean, and M. E. Potter. 1998. Cheese-associated outbreaks of human illness in the United States, 1973 to 1992: sanitary manufacturing practices protect consumers. J Food Prot 61:1405-7.

2. Bachmann, H. P., and U. Spahr. 1995. The fate of potentially pathogenic bacteria in Swiss hard and semihard cheeses made from raw milk. J Dairy Sci 78:476-83.

3. Back, J. P., S. A. Langford, and R. G. Kroll. 1993. Growth of Listeria monocytogenes in Camembert and other soft cheeses at refrigeration temperatures. J Dairy Res 60:421-9.

4. CDC. 2000. Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection associated with eating fresh cheese curds–Wisconsin, June 1998. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 49:911-3.

5. CDC. 2001. From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of Listeriosis associated with homemade Mexican-style cheese–North Carolina, October 2000-January 2001. JAMA 286:664-5.

6. CDC. 2008. Outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Newport infections associated with consumption of unpasteurized Mexican-style aged cheese–Illinois, March 2006-April 2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 57:432-5.

7. CDC. 2009. Campylobacter jejuni Infection Associated with Unpasteurized Milk and Cheese — Kansas, 2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 57:1377-1379.

8. CDC. OutbreakNet. Foodborne Outbreak Online Database. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/Default.aspx

9. CDC. 2010. Investigation Update: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Associated with Cheese. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2010/cheese0157/index.html

10. Cody, S. H., S. L. Abbott, A. Marfin, B. Schulz, P. Wagner, K. Robbins, J. C. Mohle-Boetani, and D. J. Vugia. 1999. Two outbreaks of multidrug-resistant Salmonella serotype typhimurium DT104 infections linked to raw-milk cheese in Northern California. JAMA 281:1805-10.

11. D’Amico, D. 2008a. Incidence, ecology, and fate of target foodborne pathogens in the cheesemaking continuum. University of Vermon. Available from: http://library.uvm.edu/jspui/bitstream/123456789/165/1/damicofinal.pdf

12. D’Amico, D. J., M. J. Druart, and C. W. Donnelly. 2008b. 60-day aging requirement does not ensure safety of surface-mold-ripened soft cheeses manufactured from raw or pasteurized milk when Listeria monocytogenes is introduced as a postprocessing contaminant. J Food Prot 71:1563-71.

13. D’Amico, D. J., E. Groves, and C. W. Donnelly. 2008c. Low incidence of foodborne pathogens of concern in raw milk utilized for farmstead cheese production. J Food Prot 71:1580-9.

14. D’Amico, D. J., and C. W. Donnelly. 2010a. Microbiological quality of raw milk used for small-scale artisan cheese production in Vermont: effect of farm characteristics and practices. J Dairy Sci 93:134-47.

15. D’Amico, D. J., M. J. Druart, and C. W. Donnelly. 2010b. Behavior of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the manufacture and aging of gouda and stirred-curd cheddar cheeses manufactured from raw milk. J Food Prot 73:2217-2224.

16. Deschenes, G., C. Casenave, F. Grimont, J. C. Desenclos, S. Benoit, M. Collin, S. Baron, P. Mariani, P. A. Grimont, and H. Nivet. 1996. Cluster of cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome due to unpasteurised cheese. Pediatr Nephrol 10:203-5.

17. Desenclos, J. C., P. Bouvet, E. Benz-Lemoine, F. Grimont, H. Desqueyroux, I. Rebiere, and P. A. Grimont. 1996. Large outbreak of Salmonella enterica serotype paratyphi B infection caused by a goats’ milk cheese, France, 1993: a case finding and epidemiological study. BMJ 312:91-4.

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21. FDA. 21 C.F.R. Part 133–Cheeses and Related Cheese Products. Available from: http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title21/21cfr133_main_02.html

22. FDA. 21 C.F.R. Part 1240.61–Mandatory pasteurization for all milk and milk products in final package form intended for direct human consumption. Available from: http://law.justia.com/us/cfr/title21/21-8.0.1.5.48.4.1.2.html

23. FSANZ. 2006. A risk profile of dairy products in Australia. Available from: http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/P296%20Dairy%20PPPS%20FAR%20Attach%202%20FINAL%20-%20mr.pdf

24. Govaris, A., D. K. Papageorgiou, and K. Papatheodorou. 2002. Behavior of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the manufacture and ripening of feta and telemes cheeses. J Food Prot 65:609-15.

25. Haeghebaert, S., P. Sulem, L. Deroudille, E. Vanneroy-Adenot, O. Bagnis, P. Bouvet, F. Grimont, A. Brisabois, F. Le Querrec, C. Hervy, E. Espie, H. de Valk, and V. Vaillant. 2003. Two outbreaks of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 8 linked to the consumption of Cantal cheese made with raw milk, France, 2001. Euro Surveill 8:151-6.

26. Headrick, M. L., S. Korangy, N. H. Bean, F. J. Angulo, S. F. Altekruse, M. E. Potter, and K. C. Klontz. 1998. The epidemiology of raw milk-associated foodborne disease outbreaks reported in the United States, 1973 through 1992. Am J Public Health 88:1219-21.

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34. Ostyn, A., M. L. De Buyser, F. Guillier, J. Groult, B. Felix, S. Salah, G. Delmas, and J. A. Hennekinne. 2010. First evidence of a food poisoning outbreak due to staphylococcal enterotoxin type E, France, 2009. Euro Surveill 15.

35. Reitsma, C. and D. H. Henning. 1996. Survival of enterohemmorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the manufacture and curing of cheddar cheese. J Food Prot 59:460-464.

36. Schlesser, J. E., R. Gerdes, S. Ravishankar, K. Madsen, J. Mowbray, and A. Y. Teo. 2006. Survival of a five-strain cocktail of Escherichia coli O157:H7 during the 60-day aging period of cheddar cheese made from unpasteurized milk. J Food Prot 69:990-8.

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