February Cheese News Roundup

 **  FDA finds 60 day rule insufficient? This week I heard reports from Seattle that FDA officials were buying up raw milk cheese at local shops for testing purposes. Now comes this article (sorry, link has broken) in the trade publication Cheese Reporter regarding the FDA's stance on raw milk cheeses....

A risk profile that’s currently being conducted is looking at whatother potential risk-management options might be available and would be more effective than the 60-day aging process for certain cheeses, Steven Sundlof, director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) noted. That risk profile is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

Some of those risk management options that are being considered, he explained, include making pasteurization mandatory for certain categories of high-risk products, bactofugation of milk, microfiltration of milk, bacteriocins such as nisin, bacteriophages, egg white lysozyme, natural oils such as clove oil, and probiotics or competitive exclusion products.

Seems that we might see some big changes in the cheese world by the end of the year. Stay tuned. This could be big.

**  Raw milk and raw milk cheese dramas are not unique to the US.   I recently discovered this blog, The Bovine, which is a superb chronicle of legislation and issues concering raw milk and raw milk cheeses in Canada. In a recently resolved court case in British Columbia (discussed here) Michael Schmidt of Glencolton Farms was raided by armed police who confiscated his equipment and supplies as well as disposing of his raw milk products. He was acquitted on all charges.

**  Steve's Cheese moving, changing   By now you've probably heard that Portland's much loved cheese shop, Steve's Cheese, is morphing into Cheese Bar, a cheese shop slash beer and wine bar with small plates. Liz Crain (author of the forthcoming Food Lover's Guide to Portland from Sasquatch Books) interviewed Steve about the move here.