Friday, March 4, 2011

FDA planning to ruin American cheeses (more)?

Could be:
Kehler and other artisanal cheesemakers swear by "raw" milk -- straight-from-the-udder and unpasteurized -- saying it gives their products personality and depth of character by retaining the good bacteria that otherwise are killed during pasteurization. Selling raw milk is illegal in most states, but federal law allows cheese made from raw milk as long as it is aged for 60 days, a period intended to kill harmful bacteria.

But the Food and Drug Administration is re-examining its regulations, a move that has caused concern among cheese makers. They worry that the agency will lengthen the mandatory aging period or, possibly, ban raw milk cheeses altogether. FDA officials are meeting next week in Washington with members of the American Cheese Society to discuss the issues.

"We'd like to know more about any pending regulatory changes that may occur and how we can help prepare our cheesemakers," says Christine Hyatt, president of the 1,200-member group. "I would hope that we can work together to create some standards and safety protocols for cheesemakers that would not require additional regulatory changes."

An outright ban would remove some of the world's most famous cheeses from American shelves: Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gruyere and Roquefort all are made with raw milk. But even extending the aging period, cheesemakers and experts say, could leave a notable hole on your cheeseboard.
If they ban Gruyere I'm leaving.

Does anybody in France need a Biomedical Engineer who doesn't speak French? I'm very good at charades so it should be fine.